Expecting the unexpected ­ What to consider in planning for workplace emergencies

Workplace emergencies can happen at any time; to be prudent, we should prepare
for them. Because it's hard to think clearly during an emergency, it's
essential to plan your response. Emergency planning is the first step, and it
can be challenging even if your workplace has few employees. You'll need to
determine what emergencies could affect your workplace, who will lead and make
decisions during an emergency, and what procedures will ensure that employees
respond appropriately. These elements are the foundation of a workplace
emergency plan.

Emergency planning protects lives, equipment, and property. The Oregon
Occupational Safety and Health Division has published a guide to help you plan
for workplace emergencies so that you and your coworkers respond appropriately
when an unlikely event happens.

The guide gives advice on:

  • Managing workplace emergencies
    • The incident-management system
    • An incident-management system for your workplace

  • Developing an emergency plan
    • Involve employees in the planning process     
    • Identify emergencies that could affect your workplace
    • Establish a chain of command
    • Develop a policy and procedures for responding to emergencies

  • - Planning considerations
    • Accounting for employees
    • Alerting employees to an emergency
    • Conducting employee rescues
    • Coordinating with multi-employer workplaces
    • Developing quick-response teams
    • Educating employees about emergencies and evacuations
    • Establishing evacuation exits
    • Providing medical assistance and first aid
    • Recording critical employee information
    • Reporting fires and other emergencies
    • Selecting and using personal protective equipment

The guide covers the following types of emergencies:

  • Earthquake
  • Explosion
  • Fire
  • Hazardous-substance release
  • Medical
  • Weather-related event
  • Threats of violence
  • Terrorism

Further information

AplusA-online.de - Source: Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division