As much as you might want your workdays to go as peacefully and quickly as possible, things do go wrong. The test of a true leader is not, necessarily, their ability to ensure that everything goes perfectly, but to be able to handle it when there’s a real emergency. Whether it’s due to fire, flooding, or any other kind of danger in the workplace, you should ensure that you have the plans and provisions to ensure the safety of you and your team. Here are some tips that can help you do that.
It’s a good idea to have roles assigned to people in the event of an emergency. Having someone designated as the lead, the one who facilitates the evacuation is a good idea, while someone else might be responsible for getting in touch with emergency services, and others may be in charge of providing emergency first aid. If you have roles assigned to specific individuals, there’s no confusion about who should be doing what, if everyone’s present.
Alerts and alarms
How you alert your employees to an emergency situation is vital. You want to make sure that you’re able to inform them as to the emergency and the nature of the risk. This may include ensuring your workplace has the appropriate sensors, such as fire and smoke sensors. Alarms should be distinct and should be able to be heard or seen in every single part of the workplace. You may want to keep some emergency communication systems, such as portable radio units, for large workplaces, too.
Evacuation is going to be the priority in most emergency situations. Establishing an escape route is vital and, depending on the size of your workplace, you may need to install fire escape doors and signage to guide people to it. Maintaining these over time is vital. Test the doors on a routine basis to make sure that they don’t need a replacement handle or fire door hinges. Practice routing everyone towards the fire escape, as well, so that they know where to go in a real emergency.
Injuries can happen, both as a result of the emergency that you are trying to mitigate and as a result of evacuation processes. Make sure that you have fully-stocked first aid kits ready to handle minor wounds or to provide emergency care while waiting for the emergency services to arrive. Of course, first aid training is vital, and you want to make sure that you have multiple members of the team able to provide it.
The importance of training
All of the above tips are going to be vital in helping your team extract themselves from dangerous situations as effectively as possible. However, you must ensure that they are trained to follow these actions. Expecting them to exercise their best judgment in an emergency situation is a recipe for disaster. Some prep work ahead of time can be very helpful.
The tips above should hopefully give you an idea of how you can plan for workplace emergencies, from mitigating risks to evacuating your team.