Emergencies can happen anytime, any place. If there is a fire, a safety incident, or another emergency at your company, what happens next?
Emergencies are always stressful, so an educated team that is prepared for next steps can make the entire experience safer and prevent the risk of property damage while also improving workplace security. To get started, you need to address what types of emergencies could occur at your workplace and determine ways to prevent these occurrences.
Identify the dangers:
- Walk through your workplace. What types of hazards are present? Is there a lot of equipment? Is it indoors/outdoors or a mixture?
- What accidents or issues have you had in the past?
- How secure is the building? Do you have security for the building as well as for your computers? What type of theft (property, financial, data) should you worry about?
Mitigate the dangers:
- Clear away obstructions from pathways.
- Repair or replace any equipment with frayed wires.
- Make sure you have a first aid kit, smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, wet floor signs, and clear markings for all escape routes.
- Ensure that security measures are in place: entry doors have locks, cybersecurity measures are implemented, and employees are educated about phishing scams and other cybercrime techniques.
- Have your team practice drills for evacuating the building, communicating with police, and more.
- Identify the employees who will make up the emergency management team. Who will oversee drills, record steps for the plan, and make sure everyone is accounted for during situations?
- Coordinate with local emergency responders to see if they will assist with drills.
- Is the staff trained in CPR? Do you have a mobile defibrillator on site? If so, is there someone on staff who is trained to use it?
- Have plans and drills in place to practice evacuation, shelter, shelter-in-place, and lockdown incidents.
- Emergency management team steps in to implement the established emergency plan.
- Know whom to you call in the event of an emergency.
- Follow procedures for evacuation, shelter, shelter-in-place, and lockdown.
- Designate a place for all employees to meet should they have to evacuate the property.
After an emergency happens, it is important to perform an assessment to determine if staff is okay. Once employees have been accounted for and assessed, it’s time to evaluate the condition of the property.
Have press release templates and other standard emergency response communications at the ready should you have to alert the press after an incident.
An emergency at the workplace can be scary and creates different conditions from a home emergency. Make sure you take steps to prevent or mitigate future problems while also educating your staff on how best to act when something bad happens.