Most of us will go through our careers without a workplace incident, but it takes just one disaster to put your life in jeopardy. Companies should have an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) in place to protect employees during a crisis. EAPs will inform employees what to do in case of fire, tornadoes or other natural disasters, toxic gas or chemical spills, explosions, medical emergencies, civil disturbances, and workplace violence resulting in bodily harm and trauma. To limit liability and keep all staff safe, employers depend on each employee to know what to do in a crisis.
Reviewing your company’s EAP will train you in:
- What to do in a medical emergency.
- How to report fires and other emergencies.
- Evacuation procedures and routes.
- Procedures for employees who help out before they evacuate.
- Rescue and medical duties for employees who perform them.
- Accounting for employees after evacuation.
- What to do after the incident.
You may not be required to learn your client’s EAP prior to a site visit, but there are a few things you can do to be ready in case an emergency occurs while visiting your client. Take notice of the exit signs, shelter signs, fire extinguishers, etc. Stay with your host. If you get separated, apply your own EAP knowledge and training.
Practice makes perfect! This doesn’t mean that you should have your own personal fire drill every day. Drills should be conducted at least once a year. This helps the employees and the company in a couple different ways. Employees will know how to exit the building and where to congregate. The evacuation plan can be assessed for it’s effectiveness.
For more information on Emergency Action Plans and how to set one up please visit: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/evacuation/eap.html