Prevention and Protection
With the right preventative and protective measures in place, you can keep an emergency from escalating or happening in the first place. Here are a few things to consider when preparing and training for the unexpected:
- Enforce designated smoking and non-smoking areas.
- Place the appropriate type of fire extinguishers where needed most and train all employees on how to utilize the extinguishers with methods like P.A.S.S. (Pull, Aim, Squeeze, Sweep).
- Train all employees who deal with flammable and combustible liquids about the correct ways to store and handle them.
- Make First Aid Kits readily accessible with any special equipment, such as defibrillators, sunscreen, respirators, etc.
- Post emergency escape procedures and escape route floor plans, including desired refuge area.
- Create a list of names, titles, departments and contact numbers for individuals responsible for carrying out specific duties under your Emergency Action Plan.
Plans and Procedures
Unfortunately, emergencies are unpredictable and inevitable. When employees are properly trained and your Emergency Action Plan is tested consistently, you can work to minimize deaths, injuries and damage. Identify an emergency planning committee responsible for developing and implementing an emergency response plan with methods and procedures for immediate response to any possible emergency.
- Identify the emergency, how it affects you and your co-workers and the best method of response.
- Consult the preferred method for reporting specific types of emergencies such as fires, chemical spills or workplace violence.
- Develop a Notification System that includes alarms and strobe lights for the hearing impaired.
- Make sure employees know where the notification systems are located and how to use them.
- Develop a communication plan (i.e. two-way radios) and have a site for an alternative communication center.
- Follow evacuation policies and procedures for the area.
- Ensure that escape routes are free of obstruction.
- Provide visible exit signs.
- Establish procedures for the employees who must stay after others have evacuated to shut down critical operations, use fire extinguishers, etc.
- Compose a list of rescue and medical duties. Provide training for all employees designated to perform them.
Post and Practice
Once an Emergency Action Plan is in place, continuing to review the procedures set forth in the plan is imperative to successful recall of the plan.
- Post all procedures for special equipment and evacuation in the worksites.
- Conduct exercises and drills regularly to monitor comprehension and ensure emergency preparedness.
- Know when the Emergency Action Plan should be initiated, where to go, notification signals, etc.
- Check for clear escape routes and shelter spaces.
- Attain safety equipment and emergency preparedness supplies and maintain their functionality.