When an emergency strikes, will you and your employees be ready to respond? Do you have an emergency action plan in place? Even if you have a written plan in place, will everyone react according to the plan?

Having a plan is critical, especially in an emergency, but it won’t do you any good if your employees don’t know how to respond! You can help lead the fight by effectively communicating and training your employees on what the plan is and how to respond in case of emergency.

You have to begin with a comprehensive emergency action plan. This plan should consider factors such as evacuations, exit routes, and taking shelter. Don’t forget to include procedures for responding to fires, chemical spills, severe weather, workplace violence, and other types of emergencies your workplace could be at risk for. Your plan should be created with your facilities and your people in mind. Make sure it addresses the unique hazards your workplace may present.

Once your plan is in place, you need to turn your attention to the everyday heroes – your employees! The plan is just a written document – your employees are the ones who will bring it to life. Arm them with the tools to effectively and safely respond in an emergency. Take time to clearly articulate the plan details to them – not just during their on boarding but provide refreshers to veteran employees as well. Practice and test the plan to ensure employees will be ready to respond.

Your plan should not be a static document. As time goes on, things change. You may have new equipment, rearranged a section of your facility, opened a new location, etc. These changes to your operations also impact how you’ll respond in an emergency, so it is important to make sure your emergency action plan accounts for them.

To learn more about developing and implementing your emergency action plan, as well as how to effectively communicate and train your employees on how to respond, join me at the 2017 Indiana Safety & Health Conference. Don’t miss my session, Emergency Action Plan – Leading The Fight, on Thursday, March 2nd at 9:15am!

 

Andy Metsker
Loss Prevention Consultant
Gibson