Here's the one document your workplace needs to be emergency-ready
To make sure your company's ready for any emergency, put in place an emergency plan. This document details the procedures your employees must follow if there's an emergency.
It should include responsibilities for your:
- First aiders;
- Fire team;
- Emergency controller;
- Health and safety officers and managers;
- Hazardous substance controller;
- Salvage and recovery team; and
- Security personnel.
Without clear guidelines, employees you appointed to these positions won't know what they need to do during an emergency.
That will add to the chaos of a workplace emergency. No one will know what they need to do and they'll just stand around.
And that's not all your emergency plan must include.
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If there was a fire, violent strike or explosion in your company, would your first aider know what to do?
The one vital element MISSING FROM 88% of all first aid training!
Do your first aiders know what it is?
Make sure your emergency plan includes clear evacuation procedures
You also need procedures your employees can follow when they evacuate your building. Evacuation procedures are an important part of dealing with a workplace emergency because they ensure your employees are safely removed from the danger.
For it to be effective, your evacuation procedures must include these 11 steps:
1. Someone must sound the emergency evacuation alarm. This is a high-pitched broken sound that can play through the speaker systems. It can also come from on site sirens.
2. The department managers must make everyone follow the evacuation procedures. They must make their way to the assembly points immediately.
3. All employees must stop working and all telephone calls immediately. They must close all office doors behind them.
4. They mustn't go back into your workplace to collect their things. Managers must tell them their lives aren't worth it and they could endanger others.
5. They must stop machines and shut down processes where possible.
6. Everyone must leave their workplaces and follow the evacuation routes to the safe assembly points. Label these as A, B, C or D so employees know where to go.
7. If your chosen route isn't safe, employees must use the next route.
8. Leave the area in a neat, orderly fashion to prevent injuries. No one must act irrationally or put others in danger.
9. Help anyone who can't reach the assembly points on their own.
10. Anyone who isn't part of the emergency team can't be on the scene of the emergency.
11. Employees mustn't assemble in the passages, doorways, canteen or smoking areas.
The good news is, you don't have to create this document from scratch. Get your hands on the Fire Safety Toolkit
and you'll get a customisable emergency plan to help you handle any workplace emergency.