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Do you have proper evacuation procedures in case another earthquake strikes?

by , 07 August 2014
When the 5.3 magnitude earthquake shook South African early this week, many businesses sprung into action to evacuate their employees.

An evacuation plan is something you may think you'll never need, but you must always have one.

If you don't, then disasters like the Orkney earthquake can become quite a problem. Disasters like this don't happen often in SA but when they do, you must get your employees out - FAST!

Here's what you need to know about creating proper evacuation procedures in your workplace...

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Evacuation procedures happen in two phases

There are two phases to creating evacuation procedures. One looks at emergency evacuation planning. The second looks at what you must do during an evacuation. 
Here's what you must do for each phase:
Phase #1: Be Prepared!
1. Appoint competent employees to deal with emergencies. Ensure your health and safety representative and safety officers are in this group.
2. Make sure you have a loud and operational alarm. Test you alarm regularly to ensure it's working.
3. Have emergency exits and escape routes. Ensure you sign post these clearly with emergency exit signs.
4. Be prepared for every emergency evacuation situation by giving your employees the right training on what to do beforehand.
5. Practice your emergency drills every six months.
The second phase of preparation is all about knowing how to respond to an emergency...
Phase #2: Know how to respond
- Response #1: Know who to call in every emergency (for example, the fire department for fires or rescue teams for a collapsed building).
- Response #2: Know which alarm to sound for your emergency if you have different ones.
- Response #3: Know which assembly point to send employees to if you have more than one.
- Response #4: Make sure your employees know these four general safety points:
1. Don't panic, stay calm and help others stay calm.
2. Don't move from your assembly point unless the evacuation warden tells you to.
3. Follow all instructions as best you can.
4. Don't ever return to your workstations without permission from your evacuation warden and an 'all clear' notification from the controller.
If you follow this guide to creating proper evacuation procedures, your employees will get out safely if we have another earthquake or any other natural disaster.
*********** Reader's choice  ***************
Can an HSE officer do induction training?
According to the OHSA, you must do induction training for new employees, external contract workers, even employees returning from maternity leave. And every time there's new legislation, or if you have a new safety process or equipment.
It sounds like you could be doing induction every month! And who has the time to create proper training material? And ensure its correct?
So, I did some research to see what Induction training is available to make your job easier.

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