Canadian Standards Association unveils new emergency management and business continuity standard

    Poll Indicates more than one-third of Canadians expect a disaster will
    affect their community

    TORONTO, Oct. 8 /CNW/ - More than 40 per cent of Canadians say the
company where they work does not have an emergency plan in place according to
a recent study(1). Canadian Standards Association (CSA), a leading developer
of standards and codes, today officially announced a new emergency management
and business continuity programs standard, CSA Z1600, which is designed for
private and public organizations of all sizes to use if disaster strikes. This
new standard is based on the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1600
Disaster/Emergency Management and Business Continuity Programs standard.
    "A company without an emergency management and business continuity
program is like a homeowner without insurance," says Suzanne Kiraly,
president, standards, Canadian Standards Association. "A natural or
human-induced disaster can happen anywhere at any time and CSA Z1600 can
improve the likelihood of organizations keeping their employees safe and their
business running if disaster strikes."
    CSA Z1600 outlines the requirements for a comprehensive emergency
management program that incorporates a risk-based, all-hazards methodology,
integrating emergency management and business continuity programs for a total
program approach. The comprehensive standard also serves as a benchmark,
allowing organizations to evaluate or initiate an emergency management and
business continuity program that will work for them.
    "It has become increasingly important that public organizations and
private businesses of all sizes be prepared for the fullest range of disasters
that can strike," says NFPA President James M. Shannon. "NFPA was extremely
proud to build on our longstanding relationship with CSA to support the
development of CSA Z1600 which will provide the blueprint for companies
throughout the country."
    Traditional emergency programs have focused on preparedness and response.
CSA Z1600 is the first Canadian standard that includes both emergency and
business continuity planning giving Canadian organizations a framework to
manage risks and hazards more proactively.
    Many public and private stakeholders have expressed a strong interest in
ensuring that emergency management, security systems and standards evolve to
be truly North American in scope and application. This demand led to the
adaptation of NFPA 1600, the well-regarded U.S standard in this area, which is
the foundation for CSA Z1600. Similar to CSA, the U.S.-based NFPA is a
non-profit organization that aims to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and
other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus
codes and standards, research, training, and education.
    The new standard was also developed in consultation with a wide range of
stakeholders, including first responders, private sector and non-governmental
organizations, emergency management and business continuity specialists, and
various levels of government, including Public Safety Canada.
    A CSA - Leger Marketing survey revealed that working Canadians do not
have much confidence in or knowledge of their employer's level of emergency

    -   Seven-in-10 working Canadians say a disaster would affect their
        ability to do their job;
    -   Professional Canadians are the most likely to say that the ability to
        do their job would be affected if a disaster were to occur in their
        community (75%), followed by those employed in sales and service
    -   One-in-six working Canadians does not know if their workplace has an
        emergency preparedness plan in place (18%).

    To better assist stakeholders in understanding and applying the CSA Z1600
standard, CSA's Learning Centre is offering seminars that will cover the
elements required for a comprehensive program as outlined in the new Emergency
Management and Business Continuity Programs standard. Also included are case
studies and exercises to maximize understanding and facilitate application of
the standard. Sessions will be held in a variety of locations through the
year. To learn more, or obtain a copy of the standard in English or French,
visit the CSA Learning Centre online at or the
CSA website at or call 1-800-463-6727 for more information.

    (1) Leger Marketing conducted an online survey among 1,088 working
        Canadians aged 18+ on their opinions of major disasters in their
        community. The margin of error for a sample of this size is +/- 3.0%,
        19 times out of 20.

    About CSA

    Canadian Standards Association (CSA) is a membership association serving
industry, government, consumers and other interested parties in Canada and the
global marketplace. As a leading solutions-based standards organization
providing standards and codes development, application products, training and
advisory services, CSA aims to enhance public safety, improve quality of life,
preserve the environment and facilitate trade. The Canadian Standards
Association is a division of CSA Group, which also consists of CSA
International, which provides testing and certification services for
electrical, mechanical, plumbing, gas and a variety of other products; and
OnSpeX, a provider of consumer product evaluation, inspection and advisory
services for retailers and manufacturers. For more information visit

    Version française disponible

For further information:

For further information: Anthony Toderian, Senior Media Relations
Officer, CSA Group, T: (416) 747-2620, E:

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