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Press release from Business Wire

Staples and the National Safety Council Team Up to Raise Disaster Planning Awareness Among Small Businesses

<p class='bwalignc'> <i>Staples and the National Safety Council collaborate to provide safety tips for National Preparedness Month this September</i> </p>

Friday, September 07, 2012

Staples and the National Safety Council Team Up to Raise Disaster Planning Awareness Among Small Businesses09:11 EDT Friday, September 07, 2012 FRAMINGHAM, Mass. (Business Wire) -- Staples is teaming up with the National Safety Council during National Preparedness Month to provide safety tips and products to help small businesses prepare for emergencies. The new Staples.com Safety Research Center provides guides to help small businesses prepare for common safety issues and emergencies, as well as access to a full assortment of health and safety-related products. A recent Staples survey of small business managers and office workers found that nearly half of office workers either are unsure if an emergency plan exists or say their company doesn't have a plan. Staples and the National Safety Council stress the importance of having a safety plan in place for businesses, including having a emergency kit with safety products (Photo: Business Wire) “Staples is joining forces with the National Safety Council to promote preparedness for any type of emergency, disaster or accident,” said Bob Risk, Senior Strategic Safety, Health and Wellness Manager for Staples. “It's crucial for small businesses to have everything from a plan in place to the right safety supplies on hand, to ensure the health and well being of their most valuable resource, their employees.” “The Federal government issues around 70 disaster declarations annually, which means hundreds of businesses, communities and families face unexpected disruption and significant hardship each year,” said Janet Froetscher, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. “Good preparation includes designing an emergency action plan to make sure you have the proper emergency supplies and safety products on hand.” According to the Insurance Information Institute, up to 40 percent of businesses affected by a man-made or natural disaster never re-open. To help small businesses take a fresh look at preparedness planning, Staples and the National Safety Council offer these tips: Make an emergency plan. Small businesses should post an emergency evacuation plan and emergency action plan. The plan should include: emergency contact numbers, local medical facility locations and contact numbers, who in the workplace is trained in first aid, how to ensure that personnel is accounted for and in a safe location, etc. Build an emergency kit. An emergency kit includes the basics for survival, such as flashlights, extra batteries, battery powered or hand crank radio, dust masks and first aid kits. Keep copies of important records stored in a waterproof, fire proof container. These records can include building plans, insurance policies, employee contact information, bank account records and other important documents. Back up your data. Have back-up plans to ensure crucial data won't be lost during a power outage or the next storm. Only half of office managers in the Staples.com survey said their company had back-up plans in place. Practice. Good preparation means conducting regular safety drills. However, the Staples.com survey found that 50 percent of office workers participate in drills only once every few years or never. In the case of a hazardous material exposure or a major medical emergency, less than a quarter (23 percent and 19 percent, respectively) of office workers said they would know what to do in that circumstance. Get involved. Consider taking a first aid course or emergency response training, such as those offered from the National Safety Council. Staples offers a full range of safety products – from dust masks, eye wash, defibrillators and caution signs – in support of health and safety in the workplace. For more information on safety products and tips, visit the Staples.com Safety Research Center: www.staples.com/safetyinfo. About the Survey The Staples Safety Survey was conducted through a third-party research company and had 412 total respondents (208 office managers and 204 office workers) from small businesses with under 50 employees. About Staples Staples is the world's largest office products company and a trusted source for office solutions. The company provides products, services and expertise in office supplies, copy & print, technology, facilities and breakroom, and furniture. Staples invented the office superstore concept in 1986 and now has annual sales of $25 billion, ranking second in the world in eCommerce sales. With 88,000 associates worldwide, Staples operates in 26 countries throughout North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia, making it easy for businesses of all sizes, and consumers. The company is headquartered outside Boston. More information about Staples (Nasdaq: SPLS) is available at www.staples.com/media. Follow Staples on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/staples and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/staples. About the National Safety Council Founded in 1913 and charted by Congress, the National Safety Council (nsc.org) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to save lives by preventing injuries and deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy. NSC advances this mission by partnering with businesses, government agencies, elected officials and the public in areas where we can make the most impact – distracted driving, teen driving, workplace safety and safety beyond the workplace. Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=50400006&lang=enNational Safety CouncilKathy Lane, 630-775-2307KLane@NSC.orgorStaplesMark Cautela, 508-253-3832Mark.Cautela@Staples.comorEmily Hollenbeck, 401-278-4432EHollenbeck@DuffyShanley.com