How to Handle a Workplace Emergency

workplace emergency toy responder

How-to Handle a Workplace Emergency

We’ve discussed Emergency Preparedness Week earlier this week on the blog – But what about how to handle a workplace emergency? Emergency Preparedness Week is held for one week each year, and this week it’s May 5-11.

To celebrate, we’re sharing some of our best tips for emergency preparedness. 

Emergencies don’t wait until you’re home. We’ve covered general emergency preparedness, like what your emergency plan & kit should include, and that you should keep a version of both an emergency plan and kit in your workplace. 

It’s smart to be prepared for emergency situations no matter where you are. Many tips for emergency preparedness in the home apply to the workplace, but there are a few other situations and procedures unique to work that are worth being prepared for. (It’s also an essential part of any Occupational Health & Safety program). 

Emergencies you could encounter at work are:

  • Fires/Structural failures 
  • Medical emergencies
  • Attacks (Shootings, active assailants, etc.) 
  • Industrial accidents (Ex. hazardous chemical spills, burns, etc.) 

How can you prepare for emergencies in the workplace? We recommend: 

  • Conduct a workplace risk assessment
  • Hold emergency drills at least once a year 
  • Have an emergency kit in your office or workplace (Consider where the highest risk is, the amount of people and gather materials like blankets, food & water accordingly) 
  • Have a rescue procedure for falls, slips and other accidents relevant that are relevant to your workplace 
Four elements of a workplace emergency management program are:
  1. Prevention: Policies and procedures that minimize emergencies 
  2. Preparation: Hold drills and activities to make sure personnel is familiar with the procedure 
  3. Response: Action to take when emergency occurs 
  4. Recovery: Practices to resume normal business operations 
Here are six steps to plan for a workplace emergency: 
  1. Establish a planning team. The team should include representatives from different departments including senior management. 
  2. Assess the risks and how the company can respond.
  3. Develop an emergency response plan.
  4. Implement the plan—Get supplies, communicate & train others 
  5. Test the plan—Hold drills or exercises 
  6. Improve the plan continuously. Revisit the plan at least once a year.

So, what should you include in step 3? Here are some things you should include in your written workplace emergency response plan: 

  • Scope and outline potential emergencies 
  • Alarms and other methods of initiating a response 
  • Site-specific response procedures 
  • Command structure, roles & responsibilities 
  • How to shut down power & relevant machinery 
  • How to evacuate the premises
  • Communication systems and protocols 
  • Emergency contact lists 
  • Resource list 

Extra Workplace Emergency Tips  

  • Hold random emergency drills now and then—It can be worthwhile to show employees what a perceived threat is like, and how to ‘jump into action’ when you’re unprepared, and the hazard or incident is unplanned. 
  • Don’t forget about visitors—If you have customers, clients or other personnel that are likely to be in the workplace, don’t forget to include provisions for them in your plan 
  • Have accessible emergency information available—Having accessible emergency information includes posters and training videos 

We hope this gives you an idea of what to include in your workplace emergency plan. This is a loose guideline for handling workplace emergencies, as we mention at the beginning of the article it’s wise to prepare for emergencies that are relevant to your workplace—For example, if you work at heights often, an emergency plan for workers who have arrested a fall will be a necessary emergency plan to have. 


DEALING WITH A WORKPLACE EMERGENCY? CHECK OUT THESE BLOGS: 

STUCK IN A TIGHT SPOT? WHAT TO KNOW IN A CONFINED SPACE

NATIONAL EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS WEEK | WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW


HERCULES SLR PROVIDES REPAIRS, INSPECTIONS & MAINTENANCE FOR RIGGING EQUIPMENT

INFO@HERCULESSLR.COM  1 (877) 461-4876  


Hercules SLR is part of Hercules Group of Companies, with locations and unique businesses coast-to-coast. We provide securing, lifting and rigging services for sectors in Canada and Internationally. Hercules SLR serves the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, mining and marine industries.

Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLRHercules Machining & Millwright ServicesSpartan Industrial MarineStellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.

We have the ability to provide any hoisting solution your business or project will need. Call us today for more information. 1-877-461-4876 or email info@herculesslr.com

Don’t Slip Up: Fall Protection Glossary

fall protection glossary

Sometimes you just want a quick, simple definition without all the fluff, so we’ve created a fall protection glossary that does just that.

Do you use a fall arrest system? If you work at 10-feet or higher, you need it – no ifs, ands or buts. Fall protection is a combined system of plans and equipment workers use to protect themselves and their tools from slips or falls, prevent them happening in the first place and minimize worksite risk. 

Read on to discover our fall protection glossary, and stay up-to-date on important safety terms. 

Like our fall protection glossary? Check out our Rigging Glossaries One and Two, and our guide to Rigging Slang.

FALL PROTECTION GLOSSARY: A 

ANCHORAGE

A way to securely attach your fall arrest system to the rest of your equipment. 

ANCHORAGE CONNECTOR

A piece that connects and secures your fall arrest, prevention or protection system so it can withstand the forces of work and a potential fall. 

ATTACHMENT POINTS

Loops or d-rings that connect to the body, and allow the worker to attach other components of a fall protection system to it. 

FALL PROTECTION GLOSSARY: B

BODY HARNESS 

A full-body harness is used to protect workers it does this by distributing the fall’s force throughout the entire body, and ensures the worker’s body remains upright, even after a fall occurs. 

FALL PROTECTION GLOSSARY: C

CCOHS

The Candian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety is a federal department corporation, and Canada’s national resource for workplace health & safety information. They promote the well-being – physical, psychosocial and mental health – of Canadians by providing information, training, education, management systems and solutions that support health, safety and wellness programs.

CONFINED SPACE

A confined space is an (often enclosed) area not meant for long-term human occupation, with limited exits and entries. Although these spaces are not usually built for humans, work needs to be done there – Some examples of these confined spaces include sewers, aircraft wing (a great example of a confined space that’s not necessarily enclosed), tanks and silos. 

CONNECTOR

A piece of small equipment, or accessory that’s used to connect parts of a personal fall arrest system – These range from individual components, like a carabiner, or those of a larger system, like a d-ring on an absorbing lanyard.

FALL PROTECTION GLOSSARY: Dfall protection glossary by hercules slr

DBI-SALA

DBI-SALA® products are trusted for the past 75 years, to help them get the job done well and get home safely. DBI-SALA® delivers fall protection solutions that enable workers to do their best work safely and comfortably. 

DECELERATION DEVICE

Any device used to slow a fall, or absorb energy to lessen the impact of a fall.

DECELERATION DISTANCE

The additional distance between the location of an employee’s attachment point when the fall occurs, between the attachment point’s location when the worker’s fall stops.

DEFLECTION

What tools do when dropped from heights – dropped objects don’t fall straight down, they tend to deflect in another direction (and can often harm innocent bystanders metres away, who are unrelated to the worksite).

D-RING (ATTACHMENT POINT)

An attachment point (can be on the front or back) that lets a worker connect pther components to their fall protection system, like a lifeline or deceleration device. 

FALL PROTECTION GLOSSARY: F

FALL ARREST 

Fall arrest is the range of fall protection that focuses on the safety of a person who has already fell. 

FALL DISTANCE

Fall distance, or free-fall distance is the term given to the vertical displacement of the fall arrest attachment point on the worker’s fall protection equipment. 

FALL PROTECTION

Refers to the systems and equipment that keep workers safe at heights.

FALL PROTECTION GLOSSARY: H

HOLSTERS

Attachment for tool belt to prevent dropping tools when working at heights.

HORIZONTAL LIFELINE

A line held by anchorages, and lets worker attach a lanyard, SRL or other component for horizontal travel. These can be configured to arrest a fall, or for total restraint.

HAZARDS

Any object, situation or act that could cause injury, ill-health or damage workers, the property and the environment – These aren’t always readily apparent, but many hazards can be managed or minimized. There are many different types of hazards, including:

  • Ergonomic
  • Physical
  • Mechanical
  • Chemical
  • Biological 
  • Psychosocial 

FALL PROTECTION GLOSSARY: I

IMPACT RESISTANCE

This is an object’s ability to withstand strong forces or shock applied  for example, a worker’s safety harness and lanyard must be able to withstand the wear and tear that regular work gives.

FALL PROTECTION GLOSSARY: K

KARABINER

A connector (see below), or coupling link used to secure ropes, harnesses or other components of a fall arrest system. 

FALL PROTECTION GLOSSARY: L

LADDER

Device used to extend a worker’s reach and work at heights. Commonly-used across a variety of industries to ascend and descend. 

LANYARD

A lanyard is a connection point to your harness, and can be constructed of rope, webbing or cable.  

LEADING EDGE

A leading edge is an under-construction and unprotected side of a surface (think a roof). Its location normally changes as work changes. Leading edges are normally sharp, abrasive and present hazards that you can minimize with fall protection. 

FALL PROTECTION GLOSSARY: O

OSHA

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration is a regulating US agency who’s responsible to make sure workplaces are safe, and work within the necessary regulations and safety standards.

FALL PROTECTION GLOSSARY: P

PROTECTA

Protecta® Brand has comfortable features and fit, like shoulder pads, moisture-wicking back pads, and foam hip pads with mesh for extra breathability. 

FALL PROTECTION GLOSSARY: R

RESCUE / RESCUE PLAN

Retrieval plan for worker’s at heights or in confined spaces – a rescue plan is an essential part of any fall prevention plan. 

RISK MANAGEMENT

Risk is present at nearly every jobsite, and risk management refers to the act of minimizing and managing those risks so hazards, injuries, fatalities and high financial consequences are prevented.

ROPE GRAB

A rope grab attaches to a safety harness, and typically is less costly than an SRL. 

FALL PROTECTION GLOSSARY: S

SAFETY HARNESS

A safety harness (also see body harness) is used to protect a worker if they fall while working at height, or in a confined space by catching them as they fall. 

SHOCK-ABSORBER

Webbing device used to extend or lessen forces on the worker if a fall occurs.

SELF-RETRACTING LIFELINE/LANYARD

A self-retracting lifeline, or SRL is a deceleration device with a spring-loaded cable or line that will brake the worker if a fall occurs. They typically are a longer length, and are best applied when a standard shock-absorbing lanyard would not be able to stop the fall in time. 

FALL PROTECTION GLOSSARY: T

TOTAL RESTRAINT

Refers to the control of a worker’s movement by the connection to an anchorage and restrictive equipment that doesn’t adjust, so a worker is completely stopped when a fall occurs. 


PAY ATTENTION TO FALL PREVENTION!

FIND MORE INFORMATION ON FALL PROTECTION EQUIPMENT, HOW TO CALCULATE FALL DISTANCE AND MORE ON OUR FAVOURITE SAFETY PRODUCTS FROM BRANDS LIKE 3M, MSA SAFETY AND HONEYWELL-MILLER BELOW.

3M DBI-SALA®

3M DBI-SALA® HARNESSES & LANYARDS

HOW TO SELECT THE RIGHT HARNESS


FOR MORE ON FALL PROTECTION,

CHECK OUT OUR BLOG:

SAFETY INSPECTION: MAKE YOUR HARNESS A HABIT

CONFINED SPACES: CHOOSE THE BEST FALL PROTECTION EQUIPMENT

FALL ARREST SYSTEM: DON’T FOOL WITH YOUR TOOLS


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Hercules SLR is part of the Hercules Group of Companies which offers a unique portfolio of businesses nationally with locations from coast to coast. Our companies provide an extensive coverage of products and services that support the success of a wide range of business sectors across Canada including the energy, oil & gas, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, infrastructure, utilities, oil and gas, mining and marine industries.

Hercules Group of Companies is comprised of: Hercules SLRHercules Machining & Millwright ServicesSpartan Industrial MarineStellar Industrial Sales and Wire Rope Atlantic.