“What would you do if…?” is a question that gets the mind thinking and, oftentimes, spurs planning and action. Considering how one would respond to certain situations can be used to create safe and, potentially, life-saving processes. This especially holds true in the workplace, where employee safety and security are a priority.
June is National Safety Month, and the perfect time to develop – or refresh – your workplace emergency plan. These tips will get your team started to ensure the appropriate response in an emergency situation:
- Think through what an emergency looks like. It’s important to thoroughly consider what an emergency looks like in your workplace, as this can vary from place to place. Whether it’s a fire in the office kitchen, a warehouse spill or the threat of harm caused by severe weather, knowing the emergencies that could negatively affect your workplace are the foundation of a strong plan and how employees will access safety.
- Remember the basics. There are certain “must-haves” when it comes to an emergency plan, including documentation containing contact information for employees, local emergency departments, hospitals and utility companies, as well floor plans and maps outlining exit areas and service line locations (including gas and water). Also, consider having an additional location that can safely house all original legal documents and records – or store digital copies of all files needed to keep your business running smoothly in the cloud or offsite.
- Establish procedure It’s critical to establish procedures that sufficiently speak to the emergency in question. This includes evacuation routes and processes where pre-identified employee teams notify employees and local emergency departments of the situation at hand, mitigate additional problems and assist employees (including the blind, deaf or hard-of-hearing) with getting to established “safety zones.”
Preparation is key to effectively managing emergencies in the workplace. Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for tools and resources to help you create your safety plan.