Every business owner wants their workplace and employees to be safe and productive. But there is always the chance that an emergency situation like a fire will happen, and then it is important to have a good evacuation plan in place. The emergency exits must be well marked and accessible. Workers must be informed what to do when an emergency happens, and they must be trained in workplace safety measures.
The Importance of Safe Workplaces
It is important to invest both the time and money it takes to make every workplace safe for the employees. Protocols should be put in place and given to all employees describing what to do in an emergency. Having a plan in advance can reduce employee injury and damage to the building. Going to airquestinc.com online can be the beginning of a safer workplace.
The First Step to a Safer Workplace
The first step to a safer workplace is having the building and procedures already in place evaluated by a professional safety expert. Making an effort to meet OSHA workplace standards is a good start. There are guidebooks to get from the U.S. Department of Labor and OSHA. This information lists the possible emergencies and then gives guidance for dealing with them. Some emergencies include:
* Weather-related emergencies such as tornadoes, hurricanes, and floods.
* Fires and explosions
* Toxic gas releases, chemical spills, and similar accidents
* Civil disturbances such as demonstrations and rioting
* Workplace violence with bodily harm and trauma
Each emergency requires a different company and individual response. But, what should that response be? Having plans in place and even an employee handbook listing correct responses in advance helps to keep everyone safe. Once the building owner or business owner makes the wise decision to be prepared, they need an emergency action plan.
Emergency Action Plans Include 5 Response Essentials and More.
- A way to alert employees in every part of the operation of an emergency is essential. This might include alarms and an emergency communication system. A way to alert the authorities such as the fire department and police immediately to get help is also necessary.
- There must be an evacuation plan and procedure for employees to follow that includes emergency escape plans and procedures with escape route assignments with floor plans with the route marked. There should be marked safe refuge locations.
- A list should be readily available of titles, names, departments, and phone numbers for employees to contact at the first sign of an emergency. These individuals should have their positions and duties listed for the emergency response. There should be individuals in each area or department assigned to lead employees out of the building or perform emergency services when needed.
- There should be employees designated and trained to offer first aid or medical services as needed.
- There should be employees chosen and trained to remain in the building long enough to perform emergency shutdown procedures, operate fire extinguishers, and other essential services to protect the building and equipment during the evacuation and emergency.
In addition to the above essentials, the emergency plans should include an alternative, off-site communications center, and a place to take and store important company papers, employee contact information, and documents. There should be a clear chain of command to make sure the evacuation happens in a safe, organized way. Plan for the worst and hope it never happens. It is a very good idea to have practice evacuations at least once a year and as training for new employees.