Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

1.20. Emergency communication procedures according to the organisational emergency plan

ryanrori February 8, 2021
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Emergency communication procedures should include 

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  • The names and contact details of all the responsible people in charge
  • Who’s in charge for what and when they are in charge of these items
  • The chain of command
  • The emergency procedures to follow for different scenarios; and
  • All the communication methods to be used.

Provide training and when an emergency does happen, your employees will know what to do and how to react:

Every employee needs to know details of the emergency action plan, including:

  • evacuation plans
  • alarm systems
  • reporting procedures for personnel
  • shutdown procedures, and types of potential emergencies
  • any special hazards, such as flammable materials, toxic chemicals, radioactive sources or water-reactive substances, should be discussed with employees
  • drills should be held at random intervals, at least annually, and should include outside police and fire authorities
  • training must be conducted at least annually and when employees are hired or when their job changes

Additional training is needed:

  • when new equipment is purchased
  • materials or processes are introduced
  • when the layout or design of the workplace changes
  • when procedures have been updated or revised,
  • when exercises show that employee performance is inadequate

Plan and carry out a simulated exercise of an emergency situation

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:

  • Floods
  • Fires
  • Toxic gas releases
  • Chemical spills
  • Radiological accidents
  • Explosions
  • Civil disturbances, and
  • Workplace violence resulting in bodily harm and trauma

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 office?  Or a hurricane hit your building head-on? Or a train carrying hazardous waste derailed while passing through your town? Once you have identified potential emergencies, consider how they would affect you and your workers and how you would respond. Employers must know the location of and how to use common emergency equipment and training must be given in Emergency shutdown procedures.

An emergency action plan covers specifically selected actions employers and employees must take to ensure employee safety from fire and other emergencies and should include:

  • A method for reporting fires and other emergencies
  • An evacuation policy and procedure
  • Emergency escape procedures and route assignments, such as floor plans, workplace maps, and safe or refuge areas
  • Names, titles, departments, and telephone numbers of individuals both within and outside your company to contact for additional information or explanation of duties and responsibilities under the emergency plan
  • Procedures for employees who remain to perform or shut down operations, operate fire extinguishers, or perform other essential services that cannot be shut down before evacuating; and 
  • Rescue and medical duties for any workers designated to perform them.

You also may want to consider designating an assembly location and procedures to account for all employees after an evacuation.

  • decide on a site for an emergency communications centre to be used in the event of a fire or explosion; and
  • decide on an offsite location to store originals or duplicate copies of accounting records, legal documents, your employees’ emergency contact lists, and other essential records
  • include a way to alert employees, including disabled workers, to evacuate or take other action
  • alarms must be distinctive and recognized by all employees 
  • create an emergency communications system such as a public address system, portable radio unit, or other means to notify employees of the emergency and to contact local law enforcement, the fire department, and others
  • select a responsible individual to lead and coordinate your emergency plan and evacuation. It is critical that employees know who the coordinator is and understand that person has the authority to make decisions during emergencies.

Evacuation routes

  • designate primary and secondary evacuation routes and exits. 
  • ensure that evacuation routes and emergency exits meet the following conditions:
  • Clearly marked and well lit
  • Wide enough to accommodate the number of evacuating personnel
  • Unobstructed and clear of debris at all times; and
  • Unlikely to expose evacuating personnel to additional hazards

After you develop the plan, review it with your employees to make sure everyone knows what to do before, during and after an emergency. Keep a copy of your emergency action plan in a convenient location where employees can get to it, or provide all employees a copy.

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