When To Call For An Evacuation In Workplace
by: Alex Pericleous
Today’s world seems to be filled with all types of emergencies in the workplace. Some of these emergencies are authentic, while others may simply need a calm person to reduce the panic. There are some types of emergencies that may require evacuation in the workplace. Businesses should review these types of emergencies and make sure there is an appropriate evacuation plan in place. With an organised plan for evacuation in the workplace, employees and other personnel in the facility can reduce their risk of harm while also protecting property.
The following are some key insights on evacuation in the workplace:
- Emergencies requiring evacuation – the severity of the emergency will dictate the level of evacuation in the workplace. In some cases personnel may be instructed to “hide in place” while in other cases they may need to proceed calmly to the nearest exit. Some emergencies that may require evacuation include fire, severe storms, tornados, hurricanes, chemical spills, toxic gas leaks, explosions or a civil disturbance, workplace violence, or terrorist attack.
- Evacuation planning – having an evacuation plan in place is essential for any type of business. Some items to include in the evacuation plan are method of reporting the emergency, escape routes, refuge areas to meet, list of personnel with contact information, critical machine or plant shut down steps, fire warden, medical and other personnel with important roles in an emergency.
- Scenario planning – educate personnel on various emergency scenarios so everyone understands what can constitute a real evacuation in the workplace. If there is eminent threat to personnel if they remain in the location, an evacuation should be called.
- Emergency equipment – items such as fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, exit signs, emergency alarms and other types of equipment should be checked and inspected on a regular basis to make sure the coverage is adequate for the most likely emergencies and appropriate personnel are trained on the use of the equipment. For alarms make sure there is adequate accommodation for persons who may not be able to hear and audible alarm or those who may not easily see an exit sign.
- Other considerations – some businesses implement a complete disaster recovery plan that includes off-site storage of critical files, a comprehensive procedure on where personnel are to report if the location is shut down, and other options.