Emergency Communication Challenges and Solutions for Manufacturing Facilities

Emergencies in manufacturing and industrial facilities happen. It’s inevitable. Some, however, have significant ramifications like jeopardizing business continuity and workplace safety. Many industrial organizations operate in large, open areas, which when combined with high noise, make emergency notification via cell phone or overhead announcement ineffective or in some situations even impossible. 

Facility managers and their staff need to have the peace of mind that when an emergency happens, they can send alerts and receive them without missing anyone. Mass Notification Systems like Alertus’ provides a solution that is flexible and powerful enough to accommodate loud environments and large footprints.

Below, we will address three common communication challenges and their solutions for manufacturing facilities.

The Challenge: Loud Environment 

In manufacturing, you are often working in a noisy environment with various pitches in different zones. That makes hearing and responding to emergency alerts difficult. It is critical for workplace safety, that emergency personnel can send emergency alerts knowing that they will be received and instructions carried out by their intended audience. 

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The Solution: Audible/Visual Notification

Visual notification devices such as LED Marquees and Digital Signage are great solutions for loud and noisy areas as well as being cost-effective. When activated, emergency alert messages are shown and can be easily read from a distance. With these intelligent devices, you can instantly notify your employees whether they are indoors or outdoors with emergency notifications or regular announcements. Additional products like the Alertus Alert Beacon® and strobes are great for overcoming loud environments. These devices flash and sound immediately grabbing the attention of those who might not be able to hear an emergency alarm and notifying them on the event.

The Challenge: Large Footprint

Manufacturing facilities cover wide areas, both indoors and out. For large, open areas, Giant Voice systems are still the most efficient way to deliver emergency notifications. However, using unrehearsed, live voice announcements can be challenging and stressful in a crisis and may not be heard if you are not using the correct system. 

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The Solution: Clear and Intelligible Indoor/Outdoor Notification

Effective outdoor crisis communication in large-area manufacturing plants and industrial parks are best served by giant voice notification using text-to-speech (TTS) technology. Alertus offers breakthrough TTS technology embedded in a high power speaker array (HPSA) to overcome limitations created by using live voice announcements such as enunciation, clarity, and intelligibility. Alertus can override existing outdoor HPSA or design a new system to cover outdoor areas with siren tones and clear voice messages.

 

The Challenge: Business Continuity

Business continuity and worker safety take center stage during an emergency event. It is essential to ensure your employees are safe and well informed. Some facilities run 24/7, and any downtime due to an emergency could harm your business's finances and in turn, impact your workers and company morale. 

 

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The Solution: Mass Notification System

Preparedness is key to making sure your facility stays on track in the aftermath of an emergency event. The best solution to mitigate business downtime due to an emergency is to invest in a Mass Notification System in conjunction with your business emergency preparedness plan. A mass notification system can instantly send emergency alerts to all or select groups, and communicate when a crisis is over, and regular business operations can continue. Having a mass notification system in place when an emergency occurs, gives your facility a better chance of preserving operations, data, and systems. Mass notification systems can also help automate emergency communications using pre-set alerts to specific groups of people to ensure they get the information they need to follow your business continuity plan.

 

In conclusion, you and your team must always be up-to-date on your emergency preparedness plans and drills. It is also important to make sure that your employees are receiving annual or quarterly training on emergency preparedness and response to mitigate workplace incidents or emergencies. Conducting annual drills for your employees is a great way to keep these procedures and instructions fresh in their minds, so in the unlikely event an emergency does occur, they will know what to do and be familiar with the emergency alerting devices that are being activated.

Rachel Choppin