Emergencies can and do happen at the workplace, and well the business weathers it is largely dependent on what emergency measures are in place. Recently, a bookstore was gutted by fire from an unidentified source, destroying the priceless and painstakingly built establishment.
Unfortunately, when an estimate for rebuilding was drawn up, it was incredibly high. If the owner of the bookstore had been more proactive and put emergency measures in place, chances are that some of his wares and a major part of the building would have been saved.
As a company, preparing your workplace for any emergency is paramount. Emergencies can occur at any given time. These guidelines will help you prepare for and perhaps forestall any disaster at your workplace.
Develop an Emergency Plan
A workplace emergency plan is pivotal to a secure, stable working environment. It often contains a detailed outline of the procedures for preventing disaster and controlling damage in the workplace. In your emergency plan, your basic goal is to put in place a system that guarantees safety, security, damage-control, and preventive measures against unexpected eventualities. There are many consulting services out there who can assist you with this daunting task, and for California employers especially I recommend going to www.cestoday.com.
With an emergency plan, you will be determining the conditions under which an evacuation is necessary and the fastest exit routes to take. You’ll also be installing emergency alert systems like smoke alarms and sirens, liaising with the local emergency management office, establishing a system that accounts for evacuated employees, and creating a list of vital emergency supplies such as water, food and medical aid.
Understand the Scope of any Emergency Likely to Occur
This might be a bit difficult seeing as emergencies are not predictable. However, it is always best to work with worst case scenarios. Therefore, consult with experts who can present you with a list of all the things that are likely to go wrong or happen in an emergency.
You may also want to consider taking safety courses and disaster prevention and control classes. Sometimes, you may need to witness an emergency scene just to have an idea about what to expect (ideally by researching online). This will give you an insight into determining the right action plan especially with reference to your workplace.
Train Your Employees
Training staff employed in the workplace is fundamental to an organization’s ability to respond to an emergency. It is not enough to have an agreement with an emergency management outfit. They may not get there in time to save your business or contain the disaster.
As part of the recruitment and ongoing training of staff, you should ensure the competence of every employee of your company to respond to a crisis by providing competence training in safety, risk, disaster and emergency management.
Training could involve workshops, information sessions, public events and emergency preparedness campaigns, drills and exercises. Whatever pattern is adopted, be sure the outcome creates the solution needed.
Human casualties are the most painful loss to incur. It is only common sense to plan against this. Perhaps Cormac McCarthy’s view that people should always get ready for tomorrow knowing tomorrow is not getting ready for them is timely in preparing for emergency.
Workplace emergency encompasses human and material jeopardy. Going to bed every night with the thought that your company, firm, enterprise or workplace is vulnerable and at risk is not a healthy and fulfilling ‘routine’. You want to have fun creating products and services for people in an environment of security and peace. Consider applying these tips, and you can be sure of the success and longevity of your business and the welfare of your staff.
Oscar King is a former health and safety professional who recently decided to start writing full time, and uses his experiences in order to provide lessons for those who choose to hear them. You can learn more about Oscar on Google+.