No matter where you work or what you do at your job there are bound to be emergencies in the workplace. Whether they are nature related or employee
related emergencies will occur. There is also often now way to predict or stop the need for an evacuation under certain circumstances. It is important that
you teach all employees how to handle emergencies and evacuations in the workplace. While we all hope there will never be a time when we actually need
to use this knowledge the possibility always exist and we should be ready. Handling emergencies and evacuations in the workplace can be easy if you know
what your doing and keep a cool and level head during the event. All employees should be trained how to react during several different types of
emergencies. There should always be a set response plan that everyone knows and can following when necessary.
What Is A Workplace Emergency?
An emergency is any event that requires you to alter your day. It is an unforeseen occurrence that threatens the health and well being of anyone in the
area. They could be a natural phenomenon or a worker induced occurrence. The list below is just a few of the most common workplace emergencies.
Fire. Wild or man made
Riots or Civil unrest
These are just a few instances that are considered emergencies and could even lead to evacuations occurring. You must have an emergency and evacuation
plan set in place long before anything happens. This is the only way to ensure the safety and health of all employees.
What To Do During An Emergency
If you are at work and an emergency occurs there are certain things you will need to know in order to get through it safely. By following the instructions
below you and your coworkers should be fine at the end of the emergency.
Always keep a list of emergency contacts in a well trafficked area. This way all employees will have access to the phone numbers. Once you see that an
emergency has happened you should call the proper emergency number. The list should include local hospitals, police, poison control, fire department,
OSHA and any other numbers that are relevant to your line of work. Call who every is necessary and than do you best to help until someone arrives. The
address of the building you are in should also be clearly printed on the contact list so you can give it out when needed.
Teach all employees how to locate and use any emergency equipment in the building. There should be fire extinguishers, first aid kits, eye wash stations,
break glass for alarms, and any other relevant safety gear. By training them to properly use each piece of equipment they will be better prepared for an
If there is a natural disaster where you cannot leave the building you should have designated areas for meeting. During a tornado you should either meet in
the basement or a room with no windows. While during a flood it is obvious the basement would be a poor meeting area and you should all meet in a room
that is well above ground level if possible. This is why you must train employees about all the different emergency situations because they are not all
created equally. Something you do for one disaster may be completely wrong for another.
Evacuating During An Emergency
There are certain times when staying in the building could be more dangerous than leaving and going to another area. During these times it is important to
have an evacuation plan that all workers can follow. When it is absolutely necessary to evacuate you can make it safer by following these instructions that
are stated below.
If you have time during an evacuation you should try and turn off all the electric, gas and water that is running to and in the building. This can help
prevent fires and floods if the structural integrity of the building is compromised.
You should have a radio that runs on batteries in the building. If the electric goes out this will be your only way of knowing what the situation is outside
of the building. Keep the radio on and listen for updates and government announcements. If a mandatory evacuation is called they will announce it on the
Have a plan of evacuation. How will everyone be evacuated from the building? Will they all be forced to drive themselves and what about hose who do
not drive. If evacuation is necessary you should contact local authorities to help quickly and safely move everyone to a safer location. If this is not possible
since they may be overloaded with other emergencies at the time you should designate a few drivers and have everyone go together in groups. You don’t
want anyone to get separated from the group during an evacuation.
If by some chance a person is separated from the group you should immediately call the police and let them know the person name as well as a
description of them and the last place they were seen by anyone. This will make it easier to set up a search effort.
Using the buddy system may remind you of grade school but it is a great way to ensure everyone stays safe. If you have someone that you are suppose to
be with at all times it will be difficult to go unnoticed if you should disappear.
If you have an employee or employees with disabilities make sure you work out an evacuation plan that will keep them safe as well as the others. Do
they need special equipment or medications? You should know this ahead of time and be prepared. If you should have to stay in the building for a few days
it will be crucial for them to have all the proper equipment and medications. Again if they require a machine that is electrical you should have a power
generator that can supply them with enough electricity to keep it running if needed.
Hopefully these helpful tips will help you handle emergencies and evacuations in the workplace safely and efficiently without accidents or injuries occurring
that can be prevented.