Emergencies in the Workplace

When dealing with emergency cases in the office, it is very important to keep a clear head at all times. Panic resolves nothing, and if you yourself start panicking it will encourage the same behavior in others too. That being the case, there are a few tips that you will need to know in case an emergency happens in your workplace.

  1. Preparedness. One of the basic fundamentals of dealing with emergencies is training, or preparedness. If you are part of upper management, you must be able to make a commitment to yourself and your company that you and your people will go through the necessary emergency training. You must be able to get your employees involved in this idea, and show them the virtues of being prepared so that emergencies don’t catch you unaware.
  2. Documentation and safety manual. Get your emergency plans in writing. Document everything, so that each of your employees can have an emergency manual. Also, you can also explore the option of having periodic safety or emergency response training for your employees, so that they can refresh their memories on what to do in case an actual emergency happens.
  3. Escape plans. At the very minimum, you must have an emergency escape plan for your building. You may also assign leaders to marshal people towards the fire exits in the event of an emergency, such as a fire. There are also certain emergencies that do not require entire floors to be evacuated. On mission critical floors, where they may be allowed to stay in the building because they are unaffected by the emergency, you must still assign a safety leader as part of their team, just in  case there will be a real need for them to evacuate.
  4. Establish general procedures for evacuating all employees. If you are able to train certain employees for medical and rescue functions, assign these to them and make sure all your employees know who they can run to in the event of an emergency. There must also be an established means and process for reporting fires, crimes and the like to the proper local authorities.
  5. Foresight. List all possible emergencies that may occur in your office. List possible medical emergencies, crime emergencies, and other possible incidents. Prepare a list of things to do for each eventuality. These can be researched on the Internet. However, it would be better if you had a trained professional go over the guidelines you set. He or she will be able to tell you if there are any gaps or flaws in your plan.

One of the most common things that happens during an emergency is that people are scared, frightened, and do not know who to follow. As much as possible, you must avoid this. No emergency can be dealt with when people are panicking. Establish a chain of command for your employees by creating an Emergency Response Team. Assign one leader to this team, preferably someone with the training and resources to get the job done. He will be the figurehead and the main point person in times of actual emergency.

Emergencies happen without warning. It’s best to always be prepared for any eventuality, and to be on top of things, and in control.


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