Preparing Employees for Emergencies

For the most part, your work is predictable. Still, you don’t let employees walk into the job without proper training. If you provide them with training for the predictable, you should provide them with training for the unpredictable, too.

It’s hard to see an emergency coming in a workplace. An unprepared workplace is the perfect situation for an emergency to severely injure or kill your employees. Preparing them for every imaginable emergency is the best way to keep them safe. Here are some tips for preparing employees for emergencies.

Medical Emergencies

Medical emergencies are the most common in the workplace and the easiest to prepare for. Do your employees have the proper CPR training to care for a heart attack victim? Do they have the first aid knowledge to bandage a wound before someone bleeds out? Do they know the signs of a stroke?

In some cases, first aid training means the difference between life and death. A mandatory first aid class is a great way to train your employees to take care of each other. Plan an annual or semi-annual training session to refresh old employees and teach new employees proper first aid practices.

Emergency Weather

Emergency weather doesn’t wait until work is out to strike. Your workplace should be prepared for tornadoes and other emergency weather before they happen, because you have to move fast when they hit. Designate an area away from windows for employees to congregate during harsh weather. Run frequent drills tailored to weather situations common in your area, such as hurricanes on the southern coasts or earthquakes on the west coast.

You should also keep an up-to-date emergency kit in case your employees are stuck during harsh weather. Keep it stocked with enough food and water to last your employees 72 hours. Some other items to include are first aid supplies, flashlights and lanterns, and blankets.

Fire, Gas Leaks, and Other Accidents

Accidents such as broken valves, gas leaks, or fires are bound to happen in a factory or warehouse setting but can happen in offices as well. Hold a training session on what to do in the case of a fire, and hold frequent fire drills. Make sure everyone knows how to use a fire extinguisher during the training.

For gas leaks and other accidents, create a clear system of communication for employees to notify each other about the accident immediately. The faster everyone knows, the faster an area with dangerous chemicals or gasses can be evacuated and contained.

Emergency Action Plan

The most important resource to your office in an emergency is the Emergency Action Plan (EAP). An EAP is what ensures that your employees know what to do and where to go in the case of any emergency. It designates the method of communication, and who is the foreman leading the group through the emergency.

When you create an Emergency Action Plan, take the care to make it as detailed as possible. It’s especially important to have an efficient method of accounting for your employees, so you know as fast as possible when someone needs rescue. You also need to run frequent drills with your EAP to ensure everyone knows the procedure and that it still works.

A predictable emergency isn’t an emergency. Situations such as heart attacks or tornadoes can hit in an instant, without a warning. A thoughtful and thorough emergency action plan along with the proper training is the best protection you can offer your employees. Without the right training, your employees could be struck down in a second. The only way to give them a chance against unpredictable emergencies is to think ahead and supply them with frequent training and drills.