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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    33

    Default Emergency Contact Process

    This is a post from our OH&S forum www.HSEforum.com.au , I have copied the post here because it's probably as much an HR issue as a Workplace Safety issue.

    -----------------------------------
    Hi,

    We're a manufacturing company that operates a day and afternoon shift. The bulk of the team are on day shift (120) with the remainder (30) on afternoons. My question relates to what process is followed by other companies when it is necessary to contact the next of kin (e.g. a medical emergency)? I am particularly interested in how this would work if it happens out of hours (i.e. the pay office who control the information, have gone home) and if so, what measures are used to keep the next of kin information controlled to a certain level within the organisation. Any comments are appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Niko
    -----------------------------------

    The original post can be found here
    Emergency Contact Process

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    151

    Default

    I've seen 2 solutions to this:

    The easiest solution is when a Manager Self Service exists within the HRIS / payroll system that it is set up that the manager has access to the emergency contact information. An emergency happens out of hours, the manager logs on and accesses the information and they continue with the process.

    Another solution I've seen in the past is an automatic report run on a regular basis (eg each month) and a file in that case was sent to the security officer on the site. In the event of an emergency it was part of the process that they would be contacted, and then the emergency contact information is accessed if required.

    Either way it is up to the company to work out with their privacy which is the parties than need / can be trusted with this information and go from there. Most HRIS providers in this day do have some form of auto run function within their reporting, the lower end ones may need to be paid to set this up for you.

    As a secondary consideration, for business continuity purposes there should be more than one point of access to the payroll system and be able to access it off site as well.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    2

    Default

    Admin,

    Thanks for posting across to this forum.


    Hi Cottoneyes,
    Many thanks for your recommendations. I shall investigate these and provide feedback to the rest of the forum of the approach we've taken.

    Cheers,
    Niko

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    452

    Default

    The question that immediately comes to mind is how do you keep the information up to date?

    If the HRIS system allows customisation you could possibly have a script written that sends a request to employees periodically by SMS or email to confirm that emergency contact details are still current.

    Or you could implement a similar manual system.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    192

    Default Emergency Contact Information

    Quote Originally Posted by Moz View Post
    The question that immediately comes to mind is how do you keep the information up to date?

    If the HRIS system allows customisation you could possibly have a script written that sends a request to employees periodically by SMS or email to confirm that emergency contact details are still current.

    Or you could implement a similar manual system.
    HRIS systems I've come across allow the employee to update all personal details whether change of address, bank account, etc. Most employees (even blue collar) have been pretty good but if, on odd occasion, someone is not computer literate, they head for HR immediately to advise of the change and HR updates for them.

    Also, in those same systems, the first line manager (Supervisor) has access to that emergency information. They need to to do their job because when guys don't show up for their shift or when the Shift Supervisor may need to ask someone to come in early, they can contact them. The guys know this information is required/related to their job and there is trust with the Supervisors.

    Same goes for Emergency Contact information which is often overlooked because, thankfully, it rarely becomes an issue. But even in those orgs (they are still out there!) who don't have a HRIS, HR generally does a blanket communication annually - predominately prior to tax year end in order to avoid Payment Summaries being returned, lost etc because employees have moved and forgotten to tell their employer.

    So it should be up to HR to manage this and when there are changes to Emergency Contacts (people get married, divorced, move out of home etc), then HR should ensure that the Supervisors/Managers have a name and phone number in the event there is an emergency.

    Finally, you would be surprised how much these guys know about each other. They work together, they eat together and they bond and I have found it is often the Manager or Supervisor who comes to tell us about someone moving, getting married, etc. But this is not just about factory and shift work. Place I was at last year had had an office admin girl collapse in the toilets and no one knew how to contact her husband because she'd been there a long time and only married not long before. That was a stark reminder of how important this issue is so a Good Question.

    Tiger

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    2

    Default

    Hi Tiger, Moz,

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge in this matter.

    As for updating, it will be done manually (we don't have an HR/IS system). Once the information is updated, having it stored in a secure location on our intranet. The idea being is that the emergency contact information is also available remotely, so it gets around the issue of locked cabinets and doors.
    Also, we'll need to do an awareness campaign to ensure that the guys update their details when they move or change telephone numbers. To aid this, I'm thinking of placing reminders on their pay packets (its one piece of information everyone reads)! every now and again.

    Cheers,
    Niko

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