Importance of Emergency Evacuation Based on Ethical Decision Making and Corporate Culture
The increase of the number of natural disasters translates into numerous economic, social, and environmental losses to organizations and the entire society. It is important to note that decision-making plays a significant role in promoting organizations’ safety. Correspondingly, when an emergency that requires urgent evaluation occurs, the decisions made by the disaster management team has the ability to keep workers safe or lead to more risk for the same people. Most of the emergency evacuation decisions are made depending on the corporate culture within an organization. Emergency evacuation is the urgent and immediate removal of people from a provided hazard in order to avoid injuries. In a specific organization, such emergencies come from the hazards that disrupt the normal operations of the businesses. Such disasters may also lead to the physical or environmental damages or disruptions, stalling the work in progress. Emergency evacuation may be caused by the natural or manmade disasters including fires, tornadoes, explosions, collapsing buildings among others. In case of such occurrences, there is a need for ensuring that the leader makes decisions on emergency evacuation in consideration to the ethics and the corporate culture. The paper attempts to enumerate the importance of emergency evacuation acts done based on the ethical decision-making and corporate culture.
Ethical decision-making plays a major role to ensure that proper considerations in place to save more lives and avoid unnecessary injuries. Ethics also assists in designing laws that put into consideration basic human rights in all aspects of evacuation policies within an organization. Otherwise, many organizations may risk the lives of the employees with the policies that fail to put human life a top priority. Lorenzo, Esqueda & Larson (2010) argue that most of the business leaders who fail to consider ethics as a main factor it come to emergency evacuation concentrate on the measures that seek to protect their business interests than the lives of the employees. In case of an emergency, it becomes difficult to make the successful evacuation, leading to injuries and even deaths.
Appropraite working conditions are the basic requirement for a healthy environment. Therefore, a proper emergency evacuation may only come from an environment that fosters healthy working atmosphere. Management has the responsibility of ensuring that the working environment is healthy in terms of the considering protection against injuries that may occur from the injuries. Coming up with an emergency policy should start from the way the working environment is set up. On the same note, ethical emergency evacuation decisions ensure that the working environment is healthy enough to prevent unnecessary outbreak of man-made disasters. On the same note, such policies assist in setting up the work environment in a manner that makes it easier for the evacuation of the people when natural disasters occur. This means that the emergency evacuation becomes an exercise that provides a higher priority to the rights of the employees than any other consideration during an emergency.
Ethical consideration requires an organization to develop a serious and well-equipped disaster management unit charged with the responsibility of monitoring and reporting likelihood of an occurrence. It means that safety should be the first priority when it comes to the all activities within an organization. Emergency evacuation based on ethical decision-making helps in coming up with proper measures that proper disaster detection and reporting method. On this note, the policy should assist in enumerating specific procedures to undertake when an emergency occurs. Ethical consideration requires that all employees to have the first hand information in case of an occurrence. Therefore, ethics demands that a system be in place to alert all employees of an emergency at the earliest time possible. Such a consideration helps the management to come up with an alert system that notifies all employees of an emergency in the proper time towards a successful evacuation procedure. Such a system should have a distinct alarm that alerts all the employees of an emergency evacuation. Moreover, an alert system should also include other communication methods like public address system and wireless communication.
In the current business environment, it is dififuclt to find a large organization with employees from one specific country or who speak the same language. Most of the organizations have workers from different cultural backgrounds. In addition, the number of special groups like the disabled and women has increased in most of the work areas, leading to the need for comprehending the way to handle them. On this note, the need for developing an emergency evacuation based on ethics is likely to assist in considering all such groups in the evacuation procedures. During the evacuation process, the management should develop a method of informing persons who do not comprehend the local language (Preston & Topf, 1994). An excellent evacuation plan should also be friendly to the disabled access the emergency routes to escape from the disaster zones. The transport method is a necessity in any evacuation process.
Ethics requires the management to account for all people within an organization. Therefore, a proper method will assist in developing a system where all persons are accounted for, majorly by converging at a premeditated place. In most cases, fire assembly points are situated at an area away from the working area, providing a point where head count can be made to ascertain the number of people out of the disaster zone. The missing persons may still be in need of the rescue from the disaster zone. In most emergency incidences, people get injuries and even death from the confusion that ensures after an occurrence. Therefore, ethics demand proper labeling of all exits routes from the working area, just in case a disaster strikes. Lack of proper labeling of the exit routes may lead to more problems in terms of injuries.
In an organization, managers are responsible for the adoption of ethical emergency evacuation measures. In most of the multinationals, excellent emergency evacuation, policies based on ethical decision-making are in place. Nevertheless, some of such global organizations operate in countries where emergency evacuation decisions are not based on an equal ethical standard. What is ethical in a specific working environment may not be ethical in another, thereby leading to the differences of the policies in place. Multinationals have the opportunity to adopt and use policies that take into consideration ethical standards across all countries of operation. In some of the countries, organizations fail to implement emergency evacuation based on the ethics because of lack of necessary laws and legislations (Preston & Topf, 1994). Therefore, multinationals stand to assist in advancing the ethical policies on emergency evacuation.
Corporate culture is another important component that helps in creating ethics within an organization. Most of the times, creating a specific culture within an organization setting helps to model the manner in which employees or staff can respond to a particular situation. For instance, an adopting an ethical emergency evacuation means that an ethical culture has already been created within the organization. According to Leoni, Radford & Schulman (2010), policies contain certain basic procedures on the way to approach different situations. When it comes to the emergencies that may cause injuries to the staff, management is responsible for the handling of the same. The staff can only respond positively to a policy that seeks to protect them from harm. An ethical emergency evacuation policy comes from a corporate culture that respects the people. This means that something ethical takes into account the welfare of the people within a specific working environment.
On this note, it is important to comprehend that managers or leaders within an organization are responsible for the emergence of the safety culture within an organization. Safety culture means that all persons within the working environment develop attitude and values that promote safety. Therefore, it is apparent that ethical emergency evacuation protocol helps in creating an atmosphere where all employees work towards achieving safety at all times (Leoni, Radford, & Schulman, 2010). Most of the accidents that take place in organizations arise from the absence of the values and attitudes towards safety. Therefore, ethical decision-making is an important concept that seeks to create policies out of a culture within an organization. Safety is an important part of life that an organization that fails to adopt it is not worth working for.
Safety culture assists in developing policies that makes it easier for all employees to get involved in the daily safety measures. On the same note, emergency evacuation is a serious part of a disaster that requires a coordinated approach in order to avoid unnecessary injuries. Therefore, a culture encourages employees to ensure safety of the others will assist in developing a seamless evacuation plan that involves all employees. The feeling of involvement should start from the formation of the evacuation policies. Effective management requires participation of all stakeholders in formulating policies, something that creates a sense of belonging and the need to implement the same (Lorenzo, Esqueda & Larson, 2010). Ethics is about values and attitudes directed towards creating a safe environment for all.
Decision making in during emergencies are different from those made in the normal operations in an organization. The results from the two styles of decisions are also different. In most cases, results of the decisions during emergencies have long-term effects on individuals or even to the economies. Ethical decision-making in times of disasters helps in coming up with measures that seek to save lives and avoid additional social problems (Miner & Petocz, 2003).
In conclusion, it is apparent that emergency evacuation is a situation associated with the dangerous aspects, especially when it comes to the disasters. The fact is that the emergency evacuation should aim at saving the lives of as many people as possible; nevertheless, there is a need for making such decisions based on the ethical corporate culture. Management has the responsibility to ensure all employees to be a part of a culture that promotes safety. Therefore, when an emergency occurs, everybody works towards achieving ethical goals within the corporate culture.
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