Your level of preparation for emergencies will determine how well your workers and your facility survive these incidents.
Of course, the nature and scale of your emergency planning and compliance effort depend on the kind of business you’re in and the types of workplace emergencies you and your employees are most likely to experience. However, every employer needs a plan that anticipates the worst and prepares employees to survive any possible event — even the most catastrophic.
Your level of preparation will also establish how OSHA views your compliance with emergency action requirements. OSHA standards often refer to workplace emergencies. For example, subparts E, H, K, L, and Z of the general industry standards all mention emergency preparedness and list a number of mandatory rules.
Checklists can enhance your emergency action plan and help keep your workplace and your employees safe and in compliance with OSHA regulations. Here are a few of the critical questions you need to ask:
- Do you have a written emergency action plan that spells out the what, when, how, and who of emergency response?
- Are all your employees familiar with your emergency action plan?
- Do workers have assigned evacuation routes and designated gathering places outside your facility?
- Have you established and tested effective communications systems for use during workplace emergencies?
- Do employees understand how to carry out any emergency duties they’ve been assigned?
- Do they know how and to whom to report workplace emergencies?
- Are your alarm systems in compliance with the requirements of 29 CFR 1910.165 (Employee Alarm Systems)?
- Do you have functioning emergency equipment such as fire extinguishers and sprinkler systems?
- Do you hold regular fire drills, evaluate performance, and retrain as necessary?
For a free consultation on your emergency action plan, please get in touch with our risk management professionals.