(Certified Best Practice by BMPCOE)
Polaroid Corporation - Waltham, MA
Designing and establishing an emergency program for any business is a challenging but necessary task. The philosophy behind Polaroid's Emergency Planning program is prevention and preparedness as equal partners in any emergency situation. Polaroid mandates that all divisions have preparedness plans which are integrated with the building, site, and community plans. Polaroid audits and updates its preparedness plans at least yearly. In addition, an emergency procedure manual addresses preparedness, prevention, response, and recovery. These manuals cover in detail the aspects of how to handle an unexpected crisis in a controlled, effective manner. In effect for more than 20 years, Polaroid's Emergency Planning program relies on the site's fire administrators, 40 volunteer emergency personnel, and outside contractor support as needed.
Each year, the Emergency Planning program trains 100 to 150 people in the technical handling of emergency equipment and the use of procedures. This approach ensures the minimization of personal harm, property loss, and business interruptions. Other features include working with the surrounding neighborhoods and the local, regional, state, and federal agencies to establish emergency response procedures. Low level emergencies could occur each week. By using appropriate safety measures (e.g., emergency control stations, in-house emergency numbers, walkie-talkies, three to five minute response time), damage can be minimized and overall goals can be met. High level emergencies require critical decisions concerning resources and activities to be made under tremendous stress. Through the Emergency Planning program, planning and organization ensure the emergency will be handled in an efficient and effective manner that lessens personal harm and property loss.
Through its Emergency Planning program, Polaroid is guarding its livelihood by protecting its personnel, processes, chemicals, machinery, and equipment. Designed as an emergency control program to meet all eventualities that can be reasonably anticipated, the company strives for excellent control, not perfection.