Employers are required to provide a safe working environment for employees and that responsibility means having an emergency plan for responding positively to natural disasters. Readiness, through understanding of evacuation plans or drilling for regionally specific scenarios, is the key to keeping your workforce out of harm’s way.
Working safely and following proper procedures for emergency preparedness can prevent many emergency situations. However, some emergencies are out of your control.
The most common workplace emergency is fire. The best way to prevent injuries and deaths from fires is to prevent fires in the first place.
All companies should create a basic fire prevention plan for fire safety, which includes a list of the major workplace fire hazards and proper handling and storage procedures for those materials. The plan should also cover potential ignition sources, such as welding and smoking and related control procedures, as well as discuss the type of fire protection equipment or systems which can control a fire. The fire prevention plan must include the names and/or regular job titles of those personnel responsible for maintenance of fire systems and those personnel responsible for control of fuel source hazards.
Dangers of fire include heat, smoke, and toxic gases which all present some very nasty consequences for the personal welfare and life safety of individuals exposed to fire.
Fire safety can include engineered controls, like fire sprinklers, fire alarms, and smoke detectors are mandatory for many modern structures and likely exist where you work.
Fire Prevention Plan
This fire safety tip is directed toward employers. Not all businesses are required to have a fire safety plan in place, but OSHA advises employers to be proactive by teaching workers about fire hazards and showing them what to do in a fire emergency.
Emergency Exits and Routes
In the case of a fire emergency, you want to get everyone out of the facility as quickly as possible. Emergency exits and routes are crucial because they provide a clear path to safety.
Alarm systems are significant because they alert all employees of a fire emergency, which is the first step in getting to safety. An alarm system may come in the form of a smoke detector, a manual pull box or even a vocal system in which employees alert others by yelling “fire” or some other specified word. If your business is using a smoke detector system the batteries should be changed once a year.
It’s great to know what to do in a fire emergency, but it’s even better to prevent the fire from happening in the first place. Electrical fires claim the lives of 280 Americans each year and injure 1,000 more.
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- Identify dangers associated with fire and other emergencies
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- Recall the importance of emergency exits and identify their components
- Recognize actions to take in response to emergency alarms
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