Emergencies can happen anytime at any place. Businesses and organizations need to be prepared every time for emergency situations. They should have a plan to deal with such situations for the safety of their workers and assets.
When an emergency occurs, the first thing an organization should do is to evacuate the building. The employees and all other people in a building need to evacuate as quickly as possible. However, it is not easy to evacuate in case of a fire or earthquake-like situation.
Organizations need to know the right process to follow for the safety of life and property. Following the right steps can help you to save the people and assets of an organization. Let us explore the right steps to respond under pressure in an emergency situation.
Assign clear roles
Assign a special warden to assess the situation and decide whether an evacuation is required or not? Who will take charge of each floor of a large building? How about informing emergency services? Make sure everyone knows what their role is and they are trained properly to do it.
Organizations should create a quick response team who should be the first to react in case of emergencies. The team should be created of the in-house employees and not an external team so that it is always available.
Special procedure for an emergency evacuation plan
Mark the location of all emergency equipment, routes, and exits and ensure that they are always clear. If your building has lots of interior space, such as windows, staircases, consider painting spiers and marking exits with photoluminescent paint that glows in the dark. Doing so will make it easy to see the entry/exit points pathways during evacuation if the power goes off.
The process of helping out visitors and employees
A good rule of thumb is to have a “clearance guard” for every 20 employees or visitors. The evacuation manager should check all the offices, close fire doors, etc. The manager should also consult the visitor logs to ensure that all visitors, who are not familiar with the building’s escape routes and exit routes, are safe.
Who will terminate critical operations after evacuation?
In the event of an evacuation, sometimes it is not always possible to shut everything down at the same time. This is particularly true for sites such as factories. Some employees may have to be left behind to monitor or shut down necessary machinery and utilities. If you have people filling this role, make sure they also know when the critical withdrawal time will come for their own safety.
Communication is essential
Timely communication of correct information for the convenience of managers, critical decision-makers, emergency response teams, stakeholders, contractors, and the public is an important aspect of almost all emergency management tasks. Management, staff, and response professionals must be familiar with emergency communication procedures, especially the notification and activation processes.
A way to count all visitors and employees after evacuation
This is where a visitor management system will work! OSHA recommends designating assembly areas and keeping all staff and guests in the event of an evacuation. However, this process is not necessary for everyone.
But without a visitor in hand, they did not know that there were three visitors in the building when the alarm went off. A visitor management system provides a cloud-based digital visitor record that your evacuation officers can access on their phone or tablet to ensure that everyone, not just employees, is secure off-site.
In some emergency situations, it may be necessary to provide personal protective equipment (PPE). These include, but are not limited to:
- Safety glasses, goggles, or face shield
- Helmet and safety shoes
- Chemical suits, gloves, balconies, and shoes
- Special body protection for unusual environmental conditions
Ensure that you have all necessary emergency equipment on hand and are fully stocked, and clearly indicate the storage locations of this equipment in your emergency evacuation plan. Today, there are safety rules and regulations to help companies better prevent fires in the workplace. OSHA and NFPA provide a set of rules and guidelines for ensuring fire safety. You want to make sure that you encode and meet all the requirements.
Workplace Emergency Management is a company offering training and services for emergencies. The company is based in Sydney, but they serve organizations across Australia. They have been offering emergency training to businesses for more than 15 years. If you have a company in Australia, you can consider hiring them to make your workplace safe for your employees and visitors.
Emergency evacuation is important for every business. Creating an emergency evacuation procedure and coordinating with the emergency response team can help a lot in such situations. Following these tips can help any organization to create a safe work environment for their employees.