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Warning: Without an emergency evacuation plan, you won't be able to evacuate your employees if your building catches fire!

by , 07 November 2013
An accident at the site of one of Eskom's newest projects - the Ingula pumped storage scheme near Ladysmith- claimed the lives of six Eskom workers. The project site has been closed while external investigators try to determine the cause of the accident, and all workers have been evacuated.What about your company? Would your evacuation plan have been able to protect your employees' lives?

In the case of a serious accident or emergency, you're responsible for the safe evacuation of your employees. If you fail to evacuate staff, and they're exposed to potential hazards, you could be held responsible!
Here's a step-by-step evacuation plan, devised by the experts behind the Health and Safety Advisor. Make sure you and your staff are well-versed on this plan, so if you do suffer some sort of disaster, you can get your employees to safety fast!
Here's your step-by-step emergency evacuation plan

Step #1: Close all fire doors and windows if there's a fire. Also, put air conditioning off to prevent feeding the fire with air (oxygen) – this would just spread the fire,smoke and heat.

Step #2: All windows must be opened if there's a bombthreat. This will help disperse the blast effect.

Step #3: Safeguard any critical information by putting itin fire-proof safes or cupboards, or taking files,documents, etc with you.

Step #4: Employees must leave their work stationscarrying as little as possible. Women with high-heeledshoes should take them off. At this time, employees mustfollow the instructions of the evacuation wardens.

Step #5: If time and the situation allows, the evacuationwarden must have a preliminary roll call to make sureevery person under his care is accounted for. If someoneis missing the warden must appoint a deputy to evacuateemployees from the premises to the assembly point. Thedeputy must carry on with the evacuation while thewarden goes to look for the missing employees.

Step #6: If there's smoke, employees must crouch aslow to the floor as possible to be able to breatheproperly. If there's no light, employees must hold handsand follow the warden or deputy warden who will have a torch.

Step #7: Employees must go through the emergencyexits and emergency escape routes. Once they're outsidethey must be moved to previously identified anddemarcated assembly points. These assembly pointsmust be at least 30m away from your building. Asecond roll call must now be taken.

Remember that no person can go back into your building forwhatever reason until the emergency controller says it's'all clear'
It's a good idea to identify a number of assembly points sothere are other alternatives available in anemergency, just in case the assembly point isn'taccessible.

With this plan, your emergency building evacuations will go smoothly!

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