- Toxic gas releases,
- Chemical spills,
- Radiological accidents,
- Civil disturbances, and
- Workplace violence resulting in bodily harm and trauma.
Emergency Action Plans (EAPs)
Nobody expects an emergency or disaster — especially one that affects them, their employees, and their business personally. Yet the simple truth is that emergencies and disasters can strike anyone, anytime, and anywhere. You and your employees could be forced to evacuate your company when you least expect it. The best way to protect yourself, your workers, and your business is to expect the unexpected and develop a well-thoughtout emergency action plan to guide you when immediate action is necessary.
A workplace emergency is an unforeseen situation that threatens your employees, customers, or the public; disrupts or shuts down your operations; or causes physical or environmental damage. Emergencies may be natural or manmade and include the following:
The best way is to prepare to respond to an emergency before it happens. Few people can think clearly and logically in a crisis, so it is important to do so in advance, when you have time to be thorough.
Brainstorm the worst-case scenarios. Ask yourself what you would do if the worst happened. What if a fire broke out in your boiler room? Or a hurricane hit your building head-on? Or a train carrying hazardous waste derailed while passing your loading dock? Once you have identified potential emergencies, consider how they would affect you and your workers and how you would respond.
An emergency action plan covers designated actions employers and employees must take to ensure employee safety from fire and other emergencies. Even if you are not specifically required to do so, compiling an emergency action plan is a good way to protect yourself, your employees, and your business during an emergency.
Putting together a comprehensive emergency action plan that deals with all types of issues specific to your worksite is not difficult.
You may find it beneficial to include the management team and employees in the process. Explain your goal of protecting lives and property in the event of an emergency, and ask for their help in establishing and implementing the emergency action plan. Their commitment and support are critical to the plan’s success.
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