The Critical Role of Major Incident Planning in Shopping Malls

Navigating Complexities in Crisis Management

In the bustling environment of a  shopping mall, where a high density of shops, entertainment events, and customers converge, the importance of a robust Major Incident Plan cannot be overstated. We delve into the complexities and essential elements of crafting an effective Major Incident Plan, highlighting its significance in ensuring safety and continuity in high-capacity commercial spaces.

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The Pillars of an Effective Major Incident Plan
  1. Risk Assessment and Mitigation: The first step in major incident planning is to conduct a detailed risk assessment. This assessment should identify potential hazards, evaluate the likelihood and impact of these risks, and develop strategies to mitigate them.

  2. Communication Strategy: Clear and efficient communication is vital during a major incident. The plan should outline the communication channels to be used, both internally among staff and externally with emergency services, media, and the public.

  3. Evacuation and Emergency Response Protocols: Well-defined evacuation routes and emergency response procedures are the backbones of the plan. Regular drills and staff training ensure preparedness and swift action during an actual incident.

  4. Collaboration with Emergency Services: Establishing a strong relationship with local emergency services is essential. This includes regular coordination and joint exercises to ensure a unified response during a crisis.

  5. Recovery and Business Continuity: The plan should also include strategies for post-incident recovery and business continuity. This ensures minimal disruption and a swift return to normal operations.

Challenges in Major Incident Planning

Developing a Major Incident Plan for a shopping mall is complex due to the dynamic and multifaceted nature of the environment. One of the key challenges is balancing the need for robust security measures with the desire to maintain an open and welcoming atmosphere for customers. Additionally, the high turnover of retail staff can pose a challenge in maintaining consistent training and awareness levels.


The creation of a Major Incident Plan in a UK shopping mall is a multifaceted task that requires meticulous planning, continuous training, and collaboration with various stakeholders. It is not just about responding to emergencies but also about creating a resilient environment where risks are continuously assessed and mitigated. In doing so, shopping malls can ensure the safety of their customers and staff, while also protecting their business interests.

At New World Norm we are use to working with complexity and we turn complexity into simplicity with a clearly designed major incident plan that is aimed at all levels of the organisation. Get in touch with our experts today 

The benefits we provide to Our clients:

  1. Enhanced Safety and Well-being of People: A primary benefit is the ability to significantly improve the safety and security of everyone within the shopping mall – from customers and staff to tenants and service providers. By thoroughly reviewing and optimising the Major Incident Plan, New World Norm can identify potential vulnerabilities and suggest measures to mitigate risks. This not only ensures compliance with health and safety regulations but also fosters a sense of security and trust among all stakeholders, contributing to a more positive and reassuring shopping and working environment.

  2. Streamlined Operations and Crisis Readiness: New World Norm brings global expertise in operational efficiency, particularly in crisis scenarios. By evaluating and refining the incident response strategies and emergency protocols, we can help ensure that the mall’s operations are resilient and adaptable in the face of various challenges. This includes establishing clear communication channels, efficient resource allocation, and effective coordination with emergency services. Streamlined operations in crisis management not only minimise the impact during an incident but also aid in quicker recovery, ensuring that the mall can return to normal operations as swiftly and smoothly as possible.

  3. Financial Risk Mitigation and Cost Efficiency: From a financial perspective, New World Norm consultant plays a crucial role in identifying areas where the mall is financially vulnerable in the event of a major incident. This includes potential loss of revenue, costs associated with damages, and liabilities. By implementing a robust risk management strategy, New World Norm can help the mall not only in reducing the likelihood of costly incidents but also in preparing financially for any potential emergencies. This preparation can include advising on appropriate insurance coverage, budgeting for safety improvements, and planning for business continuity to minimise financial losses and protect the mall’s long-term financial health.

These benefits highlight the comprehensive value a New World Norm consultant brings in reviewing and enhancing Major Incident Plans for shopping malls, ensuring a balanced focus on people’s safety, operational resilience, and financial stability.

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