Are You Prepared For An Emergency? Five Top Tips
Would you know what to do if there was an emergency in your workplace? No matter how big or small your business, incidents can happen.
It’s vital you have a plan in place for a medical emergency such as fire, flood, electrocution or serious injury. Being prepared for the unexpected can help you provide quick and effective action to minimise the consequences and help to ease the situation. Here are five tips you should consider to make sure you are ready in case an emergency happens:
1) Put together an emergency plan
If you don’t already have a plan in place, it is essential that you make this your first step.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) advises to first consider what could happen in your workplace. It’s not just the risks from fire or flood but have you thought about poisoning, explosion or chemical spills? Your plan should include getting people away from immediate danger, raising the alarm and summoning the emergency services. Think that you could also have members of the public at your site as well as staff and they will also need to know what to do in case of emergency.
Go through realistic and regular practices so that all members of staff know what to do in an emergency. Have clearly agreed, recorded and rehearsed plans, actions and responsibilities. Give your employees appointed roles and ensure they are well trained and feel competent to carry out the duties. Train every single member of staff in the emergency procedures. Ensure the first aid kit is well stocked and up to date. Gloves should be included to prevent cross-contamination when giving first aid.
3) Points to include in emergency procedures
Decide how the alarm will be raised. Consider night and shift workers and weekends, plus times when the premises are closed such as holidays. Ensure that your premises are clearly marked from the road so that the emergency services will be able to find you in an emergency. Have emergency lighting in place and think about putting together a map of your site showing the location of any hazardous substances. Ensure emergency exits are clearly marked and unobstructed. Are fire extinguishers in working order? Have you considered how you will evacuate people with disabilities?
4) First aid
Ensure your first aiders are confident and have completed the level of training required. St John Ambulance advises first aiders to follow the steps DR.ABC. That is – check first for danger, then response, airways, breathing and circulation. The primary survey is always to check for danger first. Is it safe to approach the casualty? If you can see or hear any danger nearby, for you or for them, the situation must be made safe before approaching the casualty.
5) Safety first
After the emergency, is it safe to return? Work should not resume if danger remains. Check with the emergency services if in doubt. A serious incident must be recorded Under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR). This covers accidents resulting in the death of a person, accidents resulting in specified injuries to workers, non-fatal accidents requiring hospital treatment to non-workers and dangerous occurrences. If in doubt about when to report an incident, check the advice on the HSE website.