How to Plan for Workplace Emergencies and Evacuation
If you are a business owner or a manager, it is your responsibility to ensure that your employees are safe at work. Do you know how you would deal with emergency situations in the workplace? if you your answer is ‘no’ then you need to know how you would deal with it before it happens.
First Aid Certification
One of the most important things that you can do in preparation for an emergency situation in the workplace is to ensure that all of your staff members have their current First Aid at Work certificate. First aid training is very important and if your staff members have expired qualifications, they will not be able to respond with the most effective first aid procedures.
If it has been three years since they have taken their courses, it is time for a First Aid at Work Refresher. This is usually a two day course that can be taken at a number of different training centres throughout the country. With this training, your appointed staff will know exactly how to respond in an emergency situation.
Tips for Handling an Emergency Situation in the Workplace
Along with ensuring that your staff members have their up to date First Aid at Work certificate, here are some more tips to keep in mind:
- Educate your employees on the fire escape route and show them the best possible way to exit the building in the event of a fire. Practice this escape route frequently so that staff members will remember it in an emergency situation.
- Keep the emergency numbers on display next to the phone, including numbers for the local police, fire service, ambulance and poison control.
- When you contact the emergency responders, make sure that you provide them with all of the information that they need. This includes the address of your building, your name, the telephone number and specific details on what has happened, who is injured and what their injuries are. You don’t want the responders to waste time going to the wrong building or looking for you in the wrong room.
- It is a good idea to direct an employee to stand at the main entrance and greet the emergency responders so that they can lead them directly to you.
- Make sure that all employees know the location of the eye wash stations, fire extinguishers, fire alarm boxes and first aid kits. Also, make sure that all of your staff members know how to use this equipment if they ever have to.
- Give each of your co-workers a small penlight or torch to keep at their workstation. This can be helpful in a power outage so that staff members can find their way to the exit in the dark.
- During an emergency situation, stay calm and don’t panic. This is especially important if you are a manager or a supervisor, as your staff members will take cues from your behaviour and you can help them to maintain calmness.
- Make sure that your staff members can always contact you in an emergency, by providing them with a mobile phone number when you are off site.
Who is responsible for fire safety in the workplace?
It is the legal responsibility of the building owner to implement fire safety precautions in their building or facility, this includes executing fire evacuation procedures.
What types of emergency can happen at work?
- Here are some examples of emergency situations that can happen at work:
- Fire and smoke
- Personal injury or threat
- Bomb threats
- Suspicious mail or package
- Biohazard or chemical spills
- Gas leak
- Natural disasters
Relevant Training Courses for Emergency Situations
- Emergency First Aid at Work
- First Aid at Work
- First Aid at Work Refresher
- FAQ Level 2 Award in Mental Health: Workplace Responder
- FAQ Level 3 Award in Mental Health: Workplace First Aider