It’s easy to stay calm while everything is going well at work. It’s easy to feel safe on a regular work day. However, how do you handle an emergency when it does occur? What do you do on those rare occasions that something seriously goes wrong in the workplace? Is your training enough? Can your alerting system keep your employees safe and protected?
An important part of keeping safe in the workplace (and anywhere else) is emergency preparedness. Your organization should have different action plans and strategies when dealing with the various types of emergencies (such as fires, storms, and even terrorist attacks).
Here are the following things you need to tick off your checklist so that you know what to do in case of an emergency:
1. Have a working and effective alerting system.
There are tons of systems available in the market that you can choose from. Choose the most appropriate one that suites your needs and requirements.
While an alerting system can have different features, what is important is that it works. This is critical to your emergency preparedness. Invest on an effective system that can notify your employees of the emergency as well as give them instructions on what to do. Also, make sure that your system is capable of sending notifications to first responders the moment an emergency occurs. While emergencies cannot be prevented sometimes, the quicker first responders are able to get to the scene, the more protected employees are and the quicker the incident is prevented from increasing in intensity.
2. Have an assigned emergency preparedness manager or leader.
While managers for each team should be asked to be responsible for the staff members under them, you may also opt to assign other team members should their manager be absent.
The emergency preparedness manager or leader is the one who immediately gets notified by management through an alerting system that an emergency has occurred. He or she is also knowledgeable regarding emergency and evacuation procedures. He or she should be calm in times of emergencies. This is extremely important as the lives of other staff members are in his or her hands.
3. Know where emergency equipment and first aid kits are located.
Before fires break out, you have to know where the fire extinguishers are located. Knowing this helps you move and react quickly in order to put out the fire and lessen the intensity of the incident.
Before medical emergencies occur at work, you should know what number to call and where the first aid kit is. This lessens the time of searching for what you need and the time you take from finding the kit to tending to the person who needs your help.
Aside from first aid kits and fire extinguishers, other important emergency tools also include break-glass alarms, safety showers, chemical spill control materials and eye wash stations.
Make sure that you know how to operate these tools before using them as you may do more harm than good if you do not use them properly.
4. Be aware of emergency and evacuation plans, and know where the emergency exits are.
Organizations are required to inform their employees regarding emergency plans and exits. This knowledge is further ingrained in employees through training sessions and practice drills. Make sure that you pay attention when you are being given these very vital details as knowing these may just save your life. Do not take information such as this for granted.
5. Learn CPR.
While some people tend to only take up CPR when their jobs or roles require it, you never know if your knowledge of it can save a life.