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IOE Contact

Frederick Muia

Direct line: +41 22 929 00 20

Disaster risk reduction and recovery

Multi-hazard Business Continuity Management

Recent events have shown that businesses need to be prepared for the unexpected. Enterprises need to differentiate between foreseeable events that they can survive because they have identified steps to minimise business disruption and those that will create severe disruption to the whole community and will require international aid and intervention for a planned recovery.

The first step in anticipating and managing any disrupting event is to seek to prevent it. This is the approach to managing potential onsite incidents and is required under general business risk management and occupational safety and health laws and practice. However enterprises have little influence to prevent offsite incidents but they can anticipate them and plan to minimise any impact on their own operations, systems, contracts and reputation.

To meet these needs, the International Organisation of Employers (IOE) and the ILO have devised a user-friendly model business continuity management plan which aims at supporting small and medium-sized enterprises in their efforts to develop contingency plans to protect their businesses, staff and assets from the consequences of sudden disasters. The Guide, entitled "Multi-hazard Business Continuity Management" can be downloaded here.

This model business continuity management plan addresses the many questions that arise prior to the occurrence of a likely disaster and presents options for a possible response. Hazard and risk identification and management provides a structured approach. Preplanning is essential but flexibility to be able to adapt a plan as the situation develops is even more important as sharing information after the event on what went well and what did not - in a no blame environment.

The Guide is accompanied by a training module developed by ITC Turin and used particularly in the Asia-Pacific Region. However, there will always be the possibility for those events that are so devastating that all the planned contingency arrangements are ineffective because they are compromised. Many international businesses, international organisations, NGOs and international rescue and support organisations are needed to coordinate action to get businesses and whole communities back on their feet. The IOE networks with the UNDP and the International Recovery Platform to ensure that the needs and resources of enterprises are taken into account in their work.