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Workplace Emergency Planning – Emergency Drills

- April 22, 2020 by Guest Bloggers (View all posts by Guest)

The purpose of emergency drills is to teach people how to respond versus react during a stressful time.   It prepares people to respond calmly, quickly and safely. Drills take the chaotic reactions out of stressful situations and replace them with trained methodical responses.   Drilling provides the routine and structure to a catastrophic event where generally there is chaos.

A key to setting up an emergency plan is to make the plan simple.  The fewer steps, the better.  For most people, there are only three steps that they need to follow and practice in a drill.

Step 1: Move to the nearest exit and evacuate the building.

Step 2: Proceed to the determined location to be accounted for.

Step 3: Wait for the all clear or for authorization to leave the property.

When drilling, ensure anyone with special needs (hearing impaired, mobility restrictions, etc.) get assistance as needed. Assign personnel to assist them down the stairs in a multi-storied building.

After your drill, identify the strengths and weaknesses of your plan and revise as necessary, drill again and repeat as necessary.

OSHA states in OSHA 3088, How to Plan for Workplace Emergencies and Evacuations, that an emergency action plan should include, at a minimum, the following:

  • A method for reporting fires and other emergencies
  • An evacuation policy and procedure
  • Emergency escape procedures and routes, such as floor plans, workplace maps, and safe or refuge areas
  • A list of names, titles, departments, and telephone numbers of individuals both within and outside your company to contact for additional information or explanation of duties and responsibilities under the emergency plan
  • Procedures for employees who remain to perform or shut down critical plant operations, operate fire extinguishers, or perform other essential services
  • Rescue and medical duties for any workers designated to perform them.

If you have any questions, please contact your ICW Group Risk Management Consultant.