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Put an Evacuation Plan in Place

Would your employees know what to do if an evacuation was ordered at your workplace? Any emergency requiring an evacuation will be upsetting and anxiety-inducing for people. If a clear plan isn’t in place, leaving the building will be disorganized and may even cause worker injury. 

It’s important to prepare your staff for an emergency evacuation. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides guidance for employers to develop an effective evacuation plan.

  • Determine what kinds of situations warrant an evacuation
  • Determine how occupants of the facility will be notified to evacuate 
  • Establish a clear chain of command
  • Specify evacuation procedures and routes, including assistance for those with disabilities and designating areas to avoid when exiting
  • Determine if any operations must be shut down prior to leaving the building 
  • Create a system for accounting for workers as well as any visitors and contractors, following an evacuation

Once you have completed your plan, it’s crucial to communicate it to everyone. To minimize confusion, specify what employees should and shouldn’t do and list “in charge” people. If you’re assigning specific duties to anyone, make sure that they are properly trained to perform them.

  • Distribute the plan to all employees
  • Post plan in common areas
  • Communicate in relevant languages
  • Train new employees as they are hired
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