Accounting for staff when emergencies happen in the workplace can be cumbersome, confusing and sometimes inaccurate depending on the situation. Most organizations rely on manual procedures and pen and paper to account for staff at assembly points, which can be error-prone and inefficient. Unintentionally marking someone present when they were not or not marking them present when they did occur in the flurry and confusion of the moment. And sometimes it’s necessary to chase people by phone, email or text when staff have stepped away for an outside meeting or personal errand.
Staff are increasingly working remotely too. This makes it all the more challenging to account for everyone when people do not assemble at a physical location. The intention of the roll call shifts from confirming that everyone is safely evacuated from the building or area to ensuring that staff know not to inadvertently enter the area had they intended on coming on site. And of course, there’s the general communication aspect when head counts are taken including keeping staff updated and informed.
Technology can help overcome some of these challenges. Using simple, easy, low-cost software like Alertable for Workplace can save time and improve the accuracy of taking a head count. This helps to keep more staff safe and informed when emergencies happen. It also helps with post-event actions including process improvement reviews and compliance reporting. You have greater timing metrics right from when individual staff checked in to how long it took to account for everyone on a team or in the company. These metrics can be compared against future incidents, whether those are real emergencies or drills.
Finally, even if staff still work mostly on-site, and not remotely, you can still use technology in place of manually ‘counting heads’ and recording results with pen and paper. Or you can use the technology to supplement the manual process if that’s what you’re comfortable with. The technology can serve as a check and balance to a manual head count.