It is said that the best time to respond to any emergency is before it happens at all. Having an emergency plan in place, and making sure that employees are aware and prepared, is probably the best way to deal with any emergencies in the future. A whopping 87% of workplaces in Australia are shown to be not emergency-ready, but your company can do something to reduce this percentage. To make sure you’re ready, you can send some of your employees to a first aid training course in Melbourne to learn the basics of providing first aid. In addition to having knowledgeable first aiders in your company, here are some of the basic steps for ensuring that your workplace is prepared for critical moments:
- Prepare a plan that covers all emergencies.
Before anything happens, you must have policies and procedures in place for the safety of your employees. If your company transports, uses, or houses chemicals or wastes, you should strongly consider planning a response to spills. How should your employees and customers respond to a violent situation? Your plan should include contingencies that consider property and facility damage and the reactions of the people in the premises. Establish a chain of command so that everybody knows whom to communicate with and receive instructions from in case of an emergency.
- Review and update the plan often.
Your company’s emergency policies should be reviewed frequently to ensure that they are compliant with any rule and that they accommodate any changes in the workplace. These changes may drastically affect the plan, so they should be considered and included in your routine emergency response plan review.
- Train workers and everyone who may be affected.
Every employee of the company should be made familiar with the emergency response plan and the safety features found within the premises of their workplace. They should know the risks and threats in their place of work, what is expected of them should an emergency arise, and what they need to do to ensure their safety and that of others around them. Find time for emergency training events with your workers so that when a real emergency comes around, responding properly will be second nature to them.
A documented evacuation drill is required yearly by the Australian Standard 3745. Everyone should participate in this drill unless exemptions are given.
- Provide easy access to emergency equipment.
In the event of an emergency, employees should have easy access to the following:
- Emergency supplies like first-aid kits, torches, fire extinguishers, rope, etc.
- Emergency phone numbers
- The people whom accidents and emergencies should be reported to
- The evacuation procedure
- Emergency exits, especially for employees with disabilities
It is also helpful to hold fire equipment training for employees every couple of years. This ensures that in the event of controllable fires, any employee can use fire equipment to de-escalate the situation. This is also beneficial to the workers as they can use that knowledge not only in the workplace but also at home.
- Appoint emergency control wardens.
Wardens are people on each floor who are trained to ensure that evacuations and emergency responses run smoothly. It is recommended that they undergo annual refresher training, as well as skill-retention activities every six months. They should be able to control panicking crowds, direct and provide instructions to employees during evacuations, and maintain the proper chain of command so that nothing gets miscommunicated.
These are the basics of preparing a workplace for emergencies. If everyone is well-prepared, it could drastically reduce injuries and damages. Besides the potential danger that comes with emergencies, another dangerous thing to look out for is complacency. It may be comforting to think that workplace accidents and emergencies have never happened before so it won’t happen to you. However, emergencies can happen at any time, and it can definitely happen to anyone—even you.