Does Your Company Have an Evacuation Plan for Employees?
On their website, The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides important safety information as well as life saving tips for employers to share with their employees should it be necessary to evacuate a building in the event of an emergency. Check it out at https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/evacuation/evac.html
And although an emergency escape plan is not required for all businesses, OSHA highly recommends that you provide an emergency action plan to protect yourself, your employees, and your business space during an emergency situation. Here are some tips:
A disorganized evacuation can result in confusion, injury, and property damage. When developing your emergency action plan, it is important to determine the following:
- Conditions under which an evacuation would be necessary.
- Conditions under which it may be better to shelter-in-place.
- A clear chain of command and designation of the person in your business authorized to order an evacuation or shutdown.
- Specific evacuation procedures, including routes and exits.
- Specific evacuation procedures for high-rise buildings.
- Procedures for assisting visitors and employees to evacuate, particularly those with disabilities or who do not speak English.
- Designation of what, if any, employees will remain after the evacuation alarm to shut down critical operations or perform other duties before evacuating.
- A means of accounting for employees after an evacuation.
- Special equipment for employees.
- Appropriate respirators.
- During development and implementation of your draft plan, think about all possible emergency situations and evaluate your workplace to see if it complies with OSHA's emergency standards.
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