Are your employees ready and trained in case of an emergency? If there is a fire, chemical spill, weather emergency, etc, will it be met with chaos or a smooth and efficient plan of action? Even OSHA has specific standards when it comes to emergency safety plans (29 CFR 1910.38).
You can use this check list (based off OSHA’s recommendations) as a basic plan; however it may need to be tailored to your specific situation and workplace.
- Create a way of reporting emergencies to the proper authorities.
- Our suggestion: Either by posting proper emergency numbers in each work area or designating a specific individual (s) to always go to when an emergency happens, make sure the same routine is followed each time.
- Make sure that all employees are trained on evacuation procedures and how to escape in an emergency.
- Our Suggestion: Posting a sign as to where the nearest exit is from all work stations would help if anyone in the area is new and is not familiar with the layout of the facility.
- Our Suggestion: Just like in school, evacuation procedures should be practiced. Routinely have emergency drills where employees must respond as if a real emergency is taking place. Make sure they know what to shut down and where they must go.
- Have procedures in place for the employees that stay behind to insure important operations are taken care of before they also evacuate the area.
- Our Suggestion: Are there any important documents that must be taken before evacuation? If so, it may be wise to create a folder that is consistently updated. This folder can be grabbed on the way out of the building. Also think about what operations absolutely must be shut down.
- Create a checklist of employees so there is a way to account for every single individual after evacuation.
- Why? If an evacuation gets hectic, you need to make sure that every employee made it out of the building safely.
- Our suggestion: It would also be wise to have emergency contacts for every employee as a part of this list.
- Make sure that there are procedures in place for employees who are performing medical and rescue duties.
- Think about: How many of your employees have first aid or CPR training? If only a few, it may be a good idea to keep an updated ‘cheat sheet’ of basic CPR and first aid measures. There may be training and information available through your local Red Cross.
- Have a list available of contact information for the employees who may be contacted if other employees have questions about the plan or their duties within the plan.
- Make sure that every employee knows who to talk to if they have questions.
With the proper Emergency Safety Plan in place, one tailored to your specific facility, lives, injuries, and property damage may be avoided.