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Public Health Emergency (PHE) Policy Template

In the event of a large-scale public health emergency, proper communication and protocols can ensure safety. This policy outlines our company's protocols so everyone will know ahead of time, and can easily review, what to do if a medical emergency occurs.

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Public Health Emergency (PHE) Policy Template

In the event of a large-scale public health emergency, proper communication and protocols can ensure safety. This policy outlines our company's protocols so everyone will know ahead of time, and can easily review, what to do if a medical emergency occurs.


*Disclaimer from Trainual

Please note that this template is not an official medical document. And its information is for general knowledge and educational purposes only — not to provide advice on how to structure your organization's processes and/or policies. Meaning, this template should never be taken in place of legal or medical advice. 

To use, you will need to customize this template to meet all your company's requirements. So, please update it with any and all relevant information before rolling it out (like deleting this step)!

Why We Have a Public Health Emergency Policy

In today's rapidly evolving global landscape, the importance of a robust Public Health Emergency Policy cannot be overstated. Our company recognizes that public health crises, such as pandemics or widespread disease outbreaks, pose significant risks not only to the health and safety of our employees but also to our operational continuity and business stability. This policy is established to outline our proactive approach to managing and responding to public health emergencies effectively.

Having a dedicated policy ensures that we are prepared to act swiftly and responsibly in the face of public health threats. It encompasses measures for prevention, response, and recovery, aiming to minimize health risks to our employees and mitigate potential disruptions to our business operations. This policy reflects our commitment to the well-being of our workforce and our responsibility towards maintaining a safe and healthy work environment. It's a crucial component of our risk management strategy, ensuring we are equipped to handle public health emergencies with diligence and care.

Our Public Health Emergency Policy

What Constitutes a PHE?

A public health emergency is a situation that arises from natural, accidental, or deliberate events, causing or threatening to cause a significant and widespread risk to public health. This could include infectious disease outbreaks like:

  • Pandemics. (The CDC defines a pandemic as "an epidemic that has spread over several countries or continents, usually affecting a large number of people." An epidemic is defined as "a sudden increase in the number of cases of a disease — more than what's typically expected for the population in that area.")
  • Widespread exposure to hazardous materials or chemicals.
  • Bioterrorism incidents.

Events such as these can lead to a substantial number of illnesses or injuries, overwhelming healthcare systems and posing serious threats to the community's health and safety.

In the context of our company, a public health emergency is recognized as any such event that impacts, or has the potential to impact, the health and well-being of our employees, their families, or the continuity of our business operations. This could range from a local outbreak of a contagious disease to global health crises like the COVID-19 pandemic. The scale of these emergencies can vary, but their common characteristic is the requirement for an urgent and coordinated response to protect public health, prevent further spread of disease or exposure, and maintain essential services. Our policy is designed to provide clear guidance on our response to such emergencies, ensuring the safety and well-being of our employees while safeguarding our operational capabilities.

When does a PHE take effect?

Our Public Health Emergency (PHE) Policy is designed to go into effect under specific circumstances, primarily when a public health threat poses a significant risk to the safety and well-being of our employees and the smooth functioning of our business operations. The activation of this policy can occur under various scenarios:

  1. Official Declaration: When a public health emergency is officially declared by government health authorities, either at the local, state, national, or international level. This includes situations like pandemics, widespread infectious diseases, or bioterrorism events.
  2. Direct Impact: If there is a direct impact or a high probability of impact on our employees or operations due to a public health threat, irrespective of an official declaration. This could include local outbreaks of disease or exposure to hazardous conditions that affect a significant portion of our workforce.
  3. Preventative Action: In certain cases, the policy may be preemptively activated as a preventive measure based on credible information suggesting an imminent public health risk.

The decision to activate the PHE Policy is made by the company’s senior management team, in consultation with health experts and based on up-to-date information from reliable sources. Once activated, the policy sets into motion a series of predefined protocols and response mechanisms aimed at safeguarding employee health and ensuring business continuity. It's a critical tool for guiding our response during times of public health crises, reflecting our commitment to proactive and responsible management.

Who will communicate the beginning of a PHE?

The CEO or HR team will let the team know when we begin with our precautions and which level we are at. Communication will be sent via email and Slack message.

When will the PHE end?

The conclusion of a Public Health Emergency (PHE) within our organization is determined based on guidance from health authorities and the resolution of the crisis that triggered the emergency. Official declarations from governmental or global health organizations, indicating the containment or significant reduction of the public health threat, will be key factors in this decision. Additionally, we will conduct an internal assessment to ensure that resuming regular operations poses no undue risk to our employees. The transition back to normalcy will be communicated clearly to all staff, along with any necessary steps or precautions to ensure a safe and smooth process.

Who will communicate the end of the PHE?

The CEO or HR team will let the team know when conditions return to normal the CMEP is no longer in effect. Communication will be sent via email and Slack message.

Predefined Protocols and Response Mechanisms

Communication Plan

Effective communication is crucial during a public health emergency. Our plan includes timely, clear, and accurate information dissemination to employees through emails, company intranet, and virtual meetings. This communication covers the nature of the emergency, preventive measures, updates on business operations, and resources available for employee support.

Regular updates ensure that employees are informed about evolving situations and any changes in company policies or procedures. You will be contacted via email and Slack message.

Health and Safety Measures

To ensure workplace safety, we implement measures like:

  • Social distancing.
  • Mandatory use of PPE.
  • Increased sanitation.

Depending on the situation, health screenings or testing may be conducted at workplace entrances. These measures aim to minimize the risk of virus transmission and assure employees that their health is a top priority. We stay updated on guidelines from health authorities to adjust these measures as needed.

Remote Work Implementation

When a public health emergency makes it unsafe to work on-site, we transition to remote work arrangements. This shift includes providing necessary technological support and flexible work schedules to accommodate employees' needs. By doing so, we maintain productivity while ensuring the safety of our team. Regular check-ins and virtual meetings help in maintaining team cohesion and morale during remote work periods.

Travel Restrictions

Non-essential business travel, especially to areas heavily affected by the health emergency, is restricted or suspended. We adhere to government travel advisories and health warnings. Employees who have traveled recently or plan to travel are required to inform HR for necessary guidance and potential quarantine measures, ensuring the safety of all employees.

Employee Support and Assistance

We provide comprehensive support to employees affected by the emergency, including medical assistance, mental health counseling, and access to support services. This support is vital for employees dealing with health concerns, stress, or anxiety due to the emergency. Our employee assistance program plays a critical role in offering this support, ensuring employees have the resources they need.

Operational Adjustments

The company may modify its operations, supply chain management, and customer service strategies to adapt to the emergency. This could include diversifying suppliers, adjusting product or service offerings, and enhancing online services. These adjustments help mitigate the impact of the emergency on our business and ensure we continue to meet customer needs.

Regular Updates and Monitoring

We continuously monitor the situation through credible sources and provide regular updates to employees. This ongoing monitoring allows us to respond quickly to changes and update our protocols and strategies accordingly. Keeping employees informed through regular updates ensures everyone is aligned with the current situation and company responses.

Recovery Plan

Our recovery plan includes a phased approach to resuming normal business operations once the emergency subsides. This plan involves assessing the workplace for health and safety, gradually reintroducing employees to the workplace, and continuing some of the adapted work practices like remote work where beneficial. This careful planning ensures a smooth transition back to regular operations while maintaining employee safety.


Have Questions?

In conclusion, our Public Health Emergency Policy is a comprehensive framework designed to safeguard the health and well-being of our employees while ensuring the continuity of our business operations during public health crises. This policy outlines a series of well-defined steps and protocols, each playing a vital role in managing and responding effectively to health emergencies. Our commitment to these measures reflects our dedication to creating a safe and supportive work environment.

We encourage all employees to familiarize themselves with this policy and adhere to the outlined protocols. Your safety and health are our top priority, and these guidelines are in place to protect you and your colleagues. Should you have any questions or need further clarification on any aspect of this policy, please feel free to reach out to our Human Resources department.

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