Every company should ensure they have equipped their employees with safety measures to take in an emergency. An emergency is a situation that threatens the life of an employee. There are all sorts of emergencies, including fire, earthquakes, floods, and toxic gas emissions.
The procedures the employees should take include identifying emergency exits and following the proper evacuation process. Its companies must train their workers to conduct themselves in an emergency.
During an emergency, you should prioritize these steps to minimize employee trauma.
Emergency Safety Measures to Take in a Workplace
Use Muster Point
Muster points are assigned areas where employees can meet in an emergency evacuation. Muster points are common in industries, schools, and other organizations. Having a designated muster point, you can ensure your employees have somewhere to go if there’s an emergency.
A muster place minimizes confusion during evacuation and ensures that every staff member is safe. Your employees can safely exit the risky area and feel safe at the muster point where it would be easy to account for. Here are qualities of a good muster point
- Easy to access
- It should be spacious enough to accommodate the staff and any visitor in the workplace.
- There should be paths leading to muster point
- It should be far from potential harm
- Have more than one muster point to ensure evacuation is done faster.
Provide First Aid Supplies
Providing adequate first aid supplies is mandatory under OHS regulations. The number of supplies varies depending on the number of employees. Your employees should know how to access the first kit, the first aid trained attendant and which first aid services are available.
The trained attendant must know how to perform different services like bandaging minor cuts, splinting broken bones, and stopping bleeding. If any person sustained an injury, minor or significant, it should be recorded in the first aid log because some minor irritation may result in significant health problems. That’s why it’s advisable to report even the injuries that look minor.
Appoint Evacuation Wardens and Coordinators
You can’t work without coordinators and expect to run things as planned. Because during an emergency, most people tend to panic, resulting in chaos, confusion, and forgetting what they’ve learned. In such moments the evacuation warden should also help people move to safety and help the disabled staff so that everyone is accounted for
The coordinators are supposed to be knowledgeable and able to assist all the individuals evacuating the premise safely. Here are the responsibilities of coordinators:
- Assess the hazard and determine whether it requires the emergency procedure
- Supervise the entire operation, including the evacuation warden
- The direct plant shut down if required
Use Technology like RLTS
You can improve emergency evacuation by getting a real-time location system (RLTS). The RLTS will accurately track a person’s real-time location. With this kind of information, you can get a person during emergencies. The RLTS system will notify the emergency team of missing workers during evacuation.
The system badges can transfer the employee’s identity and exact location. With the information, it will be easy to do staff tracking.
Provide Clear Communication
The coordinators should communicate in a clear, professional, and calm manner. They should deliver the emergency information to other staff, but that shouldn’t be the only communication method. The company should also have an emergency notification system to keep the employees updated on what’s happening in their surroundings.
Once you have an emergency notification system (ENS), provide your staff direction on their phones and computers on how to take safe reactions. The ENS has a check-in feature that you can use to check employees’ accounts in an emergency.
Make Special Equipment Ready
Depending on the nature of your workplace, keep special equipment always ready. Pieces of equipment like respirators, suits, hard hats, and goggles should always be prepared if the unexpected knocks on your door. The equipment should be kept at an assigned desk that all the staff can easily reach and, if not, stored in a clearly marked location. Train your staff on how to use the equipment during the training.
Rehearse Evacuation Process
Some people react differently during an emergency, so you must rehearse the evacuation plan. Plan the emergency drills regularly to ensure your employees are familiar with the procedure. This will equip them on what to do when a real emergency comes.
The rehearsed training will help your team to identify problems with your evacuation plan and make the adjustments. For example, you will be able to test how easily you reach the special equipment and the evacuation process.
The emergency comes without warning; if not ready, you may be caught off guard, and it can cause injuries or even death. You must plan earlier for the day, ensuring you have an emergency safety solution. Different emergencies will require a unique response; that’s why you should train your staff on safety, choose a coordinator and use the RLTS system to locate your team in an emergency.