Did you know about this OSHA regulation?

OSHA requires that your plan-of-action include a way to alert employees – including disabled workers, to evacuate or take action, and how to report emergencies.

Let’s break this down:

1. How do you alert employees including workers who may be hearing impaired? Try a dual Audible and Visual Signal Light that blasts a warning but also blinks brightly enough to catch everyone’s attention.

2. Evacuating and taking action is the easy part! Line your evacuation route with Exit Signs and Glow in the Dark Tape. Do not block fire extinguishers so they are easily visible. Establish a meeting place outside the building and make sure all employees know where it is and to whom to report once they get there.

3. Create an easy and fast way for employees to report emergencies. This procedure works well: in each department, identify an emergency point person and a backup.  The emergency point person is in charge of his/her department roster and ensures all employees from the department have left the building and arrived at the evacuation point. This person should also be the first point of contact for reporting emergencies.  Your emergency point person will contact the other departments to report the emergency and from that point, your company will begin to follow your emergency evacuation plan.

Follow the simple steps above to instantly comply with OSHA regulations.  Avoid fines or worse- injuries and lost time.

-ms.

Start preparing now for your next evacuation

The 6.9 earthquake this Sunday reminded of the need for a solid evacuation plan.  I live in an area that rarely feels an earthquake (I think there was a 3.0 when I was in seventh grade) so I’m no expert on earthquake protocol.  What I can tell you about is how important it is to have a safe evacuation assembly area for your employees/residents/visitors. The earthquake in Mexico-southern California occurred on Easter Sunday saving most business from being affected from an evacuation standpoint.  However, if it happened on a weekday and employees weren’t current in their emergency training, the outcome of this earthquake could have been extremely devastating.

Developing an effective, safe evacuation plan needs to happen before the emergency.  Here are some steps to get you started:

  1. Do your due diligence: Investigate your facility – mark exit routes, block off a spot in your parking lot for your evacuation assembly area, create an evacuation policy.
  2. Update your emergency equipment and marking products: Get what you don’t have! Refer to my blogs “Create a complete exit, fire & evacuation guidance system” and “Create a safe haven with Evacuation Assembly Area products” for essential products and tips.
  3. Put Evacuation Leads in place: Choose one individual from every department to be the Evacuation Lead for that department.  This person must complete your training and be ready to lead and keep track of his/her department in an emergency situation.
  4. Train the rest of your staff: Go over your policy with all employees in the building. Ensure they know evacuation routes and correct procedure when exiting the building and entering the evacuation assembly area.
  5. Practice! Choose days for drills and enforce your evacuation policy. Go one step further and block an exit door with a “fake fire”, forcing your employees to use their knowledge of other exit routes in your facility.
  6. Debrief after each drill: Learn from problems and mistakes, adjust your policy and procedures as needed.

The goal of every evacuation plan is to get all employees to the evacuation assembly area safely and quickly.  Follow these steps to get your business on the right track.  Bad situations don’t give notice – be ready for anything!