Extreme weather, bomb threats, and combustible dust explosions are among situations that need activating emergency equipment in businesses. The best approach to manage these circumstances, which usually induce fear, is to have a reliable emergency evacuation plan in place. In this piece, we’ve modified several key components from OSHA’s list of things any company’s emergency evacuation plan should include to include any visitors or guests you could have on the premises. Here is an extra Emergency Response Plan checklist from the Department of Homeland Security to aid you in your preparedness.
Factors necessitating an evacuation
An emergency scenario may arise from a variety of factors. However, not all of them would need to be evacuated. Several criteria will determine whether or not you need to evacuate. These consist of the emergency’s nature and the structure’s features (e.g., how many stories, the construction material). The precise circumstances for the evacuation of all office personnel should be laid out in your strategy.
When to remain put instead of fleeing
Staying indoors could be safer in some circumstances. This may occur in the event of severe weather or hazardous substances in the environment. You should have a dedicated indoor space (ideally without windows) where staff members and guests may congregate in these situations.
A well-defined chain of command
Who is in charge of evaluating the circumstance and determining if an evacuation is required? Who will be in control on each level of a tall structure? How about alerting the appropriate authorities? Make certain that everyone is fully aware of their responsibilities and has received the necessary training.
Particular emergency evacuation protocol steps
Mark the locations of any emergency supplies, escape routes, and exits, and make sure they are never blocked. Consider using photoluminescent paint to paint arrows and designate exits if your building has a lot of internal places, such stairwells without windows. This paint glows in the dark.
Particular evacuation protocols for high-rise structures
DirectAccessGP noted that high-rise structures provide unique issues during evacuation, and OSHA specifies specific obligations for both employers and workers. The main duties include posting evacuation plans on each level, selecting and training staff members on each floor who will be in charge of getting people out, and ensuring sure everyone is present and accounted for. A digital visitor management system that offers a readily accessible guest record may help in this situation. You may use this record to track down any visitors who were there and mark them off when you find them.
Steps for encouraging clients and staff to leave the building
One “evacuation warden” for every 20 workers or guests is a decent general rule of thumb. The evacuation warden seals fire doors, examines offices, and performs other duties. In order to ensure that all visitors, who may not be acquainted with the building’s evacuation routes and exits, reach safety, the warden should also examine the visitor record.
- Identification of those who will stay behind after the evacuation alert to end crucial activities or carry out additional tasks
Sometimes it isn’t possible to shut down everything at once during an evacuation. This is particularly true for locations like factories. Some staff may need to remain behind to keep an eye on or shut off important utilities and machinery. If you have someone in this position, make sure they are aware of the crucial moment for an evacuation for their own safety.
A method for keeping track of every customer and employee following an evacuation
A visitor management system would be quite helpful in this situation! In the event of an evacuation, OSHA advises designating gathering places and making a list of every employee and visitor. These methods won’t, however, always take everyone into consideration. For instance, the floor 20 evacuation warden may be aware that 34 individuals work there. However, they wouldn’t be aware that there were three guests present when the alarm went off if they didn’t have a visitor’s record on hand. Your evacuation wardens may check a cloud-based digital visitor record provided by a visitor management system on their phone or tablet to make sure everyone—not just the employees—is safely outside.
Unique tools for your emergency evacuation strategy
It can be necessary for you to provide personal protection equipment in certain emergency scenarios (PPE). These comprise, but are not limited to:
- Face shields, goggles, or safety glasses
- Safety footwear and hard hats
- Gloves, hoods, chemical suits, and boots
- Protection for the body under unusual environmental circumstances
As part of your emergency evacuation strategy, clearly indicate the storage locations of any necessary emergency equipment that must be on hand and well-stocked.
Because they must be chosen precisely for the threats present, respirators vary from other PPE. There are four types of respirators for usage in various circumstances.
Stay-in-place evacuation, the first kind, is used in case of a chemical or biological assault. Keep inside your building, please. Don’t venture outdoors. You will be instructed to go to the top level of your building if a chemical agent is deployed since it is likely to be “heavy” and unlikely to ascend. Other “remain in place” scenarios could require moving to the lowest level of the structure. Each building will include “safe spaces” on its higher and lower levels. If necessary, the Facilities Department is in charge of shutting down the HVAC systems in each building.
Your choices for communicating with the outside world within the safe zones may be limited depending on the situation. When it is okay to go, DPS officials will know where to locate us if we are kept incommunicado. We won’t try to use plastic and duct tape to seal windows.