After the family has been notified, an ERT member takes on the role of family liaison. Agur stresses that the notifier cannot act as the family liason too - these are two separate roles.
Domit explains, "You want them trained so they don't become victims themselves," adding that research has shown that 12 months after an accident, family liaisons suffered from the most post-traumatic stress disorder of all those involved, including the family.
The family liaison should work with the family members after notification and then for about a week, Domit says. However, he or she should remember: don't take over - you're there to assist; don't baby-sit - call other family members for childcare; and, don't be involved in the identification of remains process.
Agur adds that "there should be a sunset" to the liaison's role, even though it's often the family's tendency to "hang on." Also, this is all instead of that person's normal job, not in addition to. When an employee is actively engaged as a family liaison, he or she should not be expected to perform regular duties.
The on-site team is activated at this time as well. Among the duties are:
- Control/coordinate company activities;
- Secure the accident scene;
- Handle publicity or refer reporters to the company spokesperson;
- Communicate with the company
- Assure survivor care;
- Photograph the scene - a digital camera is better, according to Agur;
- Coordinate insurance support; and,
- Coordinate environmental clean up.
September 2003 September 2003 Keeping ground support workers safe is a top priority, but what happens if an emergency occurs? Are you prepared? Keeping your company safe is about...
Maintenance Resource Management By Stephen P. Prentice March 1998 Stephen P. Prentice is an attorney whose practice involves FAA-NTSB issues. He has an Airframe and Powerplant license...