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Risk Management Bulletin


By April 1, 2011No Comments

You never know when a workplace emergency will strike. Be prepared with an effective Emergency Action Plan (EAP).

Well-developed emergency action plans, and proper training so that workers understand their roles and responsibilities under the plan will reduce the number and extent of injuries, not to mention structural damage to the workplace. On the other hand, a poorly prepared plan and lack of training will probably result in a disorganized response, leading confusion, injury, and property damage.

Your EAP should include:

  • Means of reporting fires and other emergencies.
  • Emergency procedures and escape route assignments.
  • Procedures by employees who remain to operate critical plant operations before they evacuate.
  • Procedures to account for all employees after the evacuation have been completed.
  • Rescue and medical duties for those employees who are to perform them.
  • Names or job titles of persons to contact for further information or explanation of duties under the plan.
  • A description of the alarm system to notify employees (including disabled employees) to evacuate and/or take other actions. The alarms used for different actions should be distinctive and might include horn blasts, sirens, or even public address systems.
  • The site of an alternative communications center in the event of a fire or explosion.
  • A secure on- or off-site location to store originals or duplicate copies of accounting records, legal documents, your employees’ emergency contact lists, and other essential records.

Putting together a comprehensive emergency action plan that deals with emergency issues for your worksite involves three steps: (1) Determining the types of emergencies that could occur in your workplace, including fires, weather emergencies, medical emergencies, workplace violence, etc.; (2) doing a workplace evaluation that describes how you expect employees to respond to each type of emergency; (3) taking into account your specific worksite layout, structural features, and emergency systems.

Be sure to include a diverse group of representatives (from both management and rank-and-file employees) in the planning process. Planners should meet frequently to review progress and allocate development tasks. The commitment and support of all employees will play a critical role the plan’s success after an emergency. So be sure to ask for their help in establishing and implementing your EAP.

For more information in creating an effective plan, please feel free to contact our risk management professionals.