Every workplace or facility needs to have an emergency action plan in place which will ensure employee safety in the event of a fire or other emergency. According to OSHA, not all employers are required to establish an emergency evacuation plan/evacuation procedure, but it is a fairly easy task to accomplish and will protect your employees and your business if an emergency situation should arise. As you work to create your plan, keep these things in mind:
Include your management team and employees in the establishment of the plan. The goal is to protect lives and property in an emergency event, so it is beneficial to include management and staff in the process because their commitment and support to the plan is a critical component to its successful implementation.
Include a wide variety of potential emergencies. As you consider your plan, it should be specific to the types of potential emergencies that could occur in your facility. A hazard assessment should also be conducted to determine the types of physical/chemical hazards that exist and could cause an emergency situation. If there are multiple buildings in your facility, each one should have a plan tailored to their needs.
Your plan, at a minimum, should include: an evacuation policy/procedure and route assignments (i.e., floor plans, workplace maps and safe or refuge areas).
An organized plan is critical. Disorganization during an evacuation could lead to panic, property damage, injuries or even death. When developing your plan, it should include the following:
○ Conditions that would require an evacuation
○ A clear and direct chain of command--who are the people authorized in your company to order an evacuation or shutdown.
○ Specific procedures for evacuation. Employees should know exactly what to do, the route they will take and how to safely exit the building. These procedures need to be posted where all employees can see them.
○ A system for accounting for personnel after an emergency
○ Procedures in place to assist employees with disabilities
5. Have more than one evacuation route. All plans should include primary and secondary evacuation routes and exits. Exits should be clearly marked, well lit, wide enough to cover a large number of personnel
To ensure the safety of your employees and your business, creating a thorough and organized emergency action plan/evacuation procedure is critical. At HF planners, we care about your safety and can help you put an emergency action plan in place, give us a call today!