5 Key Questions To Improve Your Incident Notification System

Every organization is vulnerable to crises, so having in place a robust, reliable, and professional incident notification system is a must.

A crisis is a sudden event in which the nature of scale poses a threat to the image of products and companies. There is a potential risk to the safety of individuals and the environment with a high chance of negative media attention.

The impact of time

We can see three main steps in a crisis, namely the initial event, the information channel, and the media, with the latter having a multiplier effect. The event trigger could even be a rumor, founded, or not.

Nowadays, crises spread to the media within 20 minutes locally, while within 24 hours they, can become global news. Meanwhile, many organizations are scrambling to react to a crisis in a professional manner leaving time for dangerous and costly consequences. When companies have to deal with chemical incidents, this is especially the case.

Time has an impact on the actions we can take during a crisis.  At first, we have few restrictions, but as time passes by, there will be more and more restrictions on the actions we can take.  It will become more difficult to collect facts first, and then act, for example. While in the end, our actions may become very restricted.

How effective is your current incident notification?

Having a robust, reliable, and professional incident notification system for an organization’s sites and supply chains is critical to protecting people, the environment, assets, and reputation, maintaining business continuity, and limiting the cost of an incident.

Effective notification enables managers to react quickly, and take key steps such as alerting the crisis management team, setting up an incident room, checking on the welfare of employees, putting out a travel alert, initiating business continuity arrangements, and notifying next of kin, and preparing for media engagement.

The below five key questions will help you to assess your current setup in the event of an incident.

Q1: Are your employees always aware of who to contact to escalate a critical issue, incident, or emergency?

Q2: Can you be sure that you or your nominated emergency contact will always pick up the call?

Q3: Are your nominated emergency contacts professionally trained and experienced in handling high-stress situations and complex notification calls?

Q4: Can you always ensure that your nominated emergency contact rota is accurate and up to date?

Q5: Does your nominated emergency contact(s) have access to all the information, forms, and contact numbers they need?

In case you are handling chemicals or hazardous goods, you will also need to be prepared to handle chemical emergencies. You may want to read our article emergency response for the bulk logistics and transport sector.


Successful outcomes can never be guaranteed, but having a well-developed crisis management capability will enable organizations to avert crises, respond to protect their assets, and learn from experience to improve practices through time.

Contingency planning is developing responses in advance for various situations that might impact your business.

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