Flooding is one of those forces of nature that causes major havoc in a very short space of time, but luckily, the same quality management plan that you use for keeping your business in shape can also help survive a flood. On a larger scale, floods are capable of destroying entire towns, settlements and even parts of cities. Tsunamis, burst river banks, flooded levies and tidal waves bring to mind frightening news reports and heart-wrenching stories of businesses and homes lost in moments. On a smaller scale, a forgotten tap left on all weekend or a burst pipe in the neighbourhood or even a burst geyser in the office kitchen can do plenty of damage to your premises too, even if not quite so horrific. When water levels rise and panic sinks in, you can do worse than turning to your trusty quality management system (QMS) for help.
How Your QMS Could Help in a Flood
Your QMS helps you improve your business and achieve compliance. But it can also help navigate disaster and chaos too. Assuming you have one in place, a system that incorporates document control (for getting those plans of actions, procedures and processes written, assigned and distributed across the company), competency assessments (for ensuring that you have the right team to deal with the job at hand) and audits (for determining what could have been done differently and how future flood damage can be prevented) is sure to come in handy. Have yet to experience flooding in your workplace? You need a simple flooding procedure such as the following to be created, approved and distributed across the company:
- All computers and other office appliances must be kept off the floor;
- All data must be backed up on a regular, scheduled basis;
- Remote document storage tools and servers should be used to ensure that backed up data is stored off-site;
- All electrical sockets should be placed to mid-wall level instead of floor level wherever possible;
- Offices and departments on the ground floor must determine water entry prevention strategies such as air brick covering, sand bags or water sealing tools;
- Parking areas should be situated on higher ground in high risk flood areas or after warnings are issued;
- All insurance policies for the company should include cover for floods and other related damage;
- Risk assessments and/or CAPA assessments should be done to determine protocol and procedure on potential flooding.
Hopefully, your office can remain dry and safe against the elements. But even if the worst happens, if you have a QMS approved strategy in place, you will know that the damage will be as minimal as possible.