How to Handle a Workplace Emergency

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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

National Emergency Preparedness Week | What you Need to Know

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NATIONAL EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS WEEK

Since 1996, National Emergency Preparedness week happens each year in Canada for one week. This year, it’s being held from May 5-11. 

This is a national awareness campaign and is a collaboration between the provinces, emergency organizations and other groups across the country. It’s a great time to make sure your workplace, and your home is equipped with an emergency plan and kit to stay safe if an emergency happens. 

National Emergency Preparedness Week is meant to showcase the importance of being prepared for a range of emergencies—These three steps are recommended to prepare: 

  • Know the risks 
  • Make a plan 
  • Get an emergency kit 

NATIONAL EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS 1) KNOW THE RISKS 

One of the most useful (yet simple) things you can do to be prepared for an emergency is to understand the region you live in. Natural disasters are a risk in Canada, and they can vary depending on which region you live in. 

There are some risks other than natural disaster that are important to prepare for—These can include technological hazards, industrial or transportation accidents or power outages. 

NATIONAL EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS 2) MAKE A PLAN 

It’s important to have a plan in-case of an emergency. You can have an emergency plan that works for a variety of different circumstances. 

They plans might be different depending on your family, location and other factors. It doesn’t take long to create an emergency preparedness kit either—20 minutes is all it takes to ensure you, your workplace and family is safe in case of an emergency situation. 

Some important things to keep in mind when creating your emergency plan are: 

  • Be familiar/Have copies of your provincial emergency response plan. 
  • Plan how your family/workforce will communicate with each other if an emergency happens and you’re not together 
  • Plan for specific risks like earthquakes, power outages and severe storms 
  • Keep people from your neighbourhood in mind that may need extra help during an emergency, for example, an elderly neighbour, and assign ‘block buddies’ for those who require one. 

GET YOUR DOWNLOADABLE EMERGENCY PLAN CHECKLIST HERE

NATIONAL EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS 3) GET AN EMERGENCY KIT 

Emergency kits can be bought from places like Red Cross First Aid, the Salvation Army, or you can create you own. 

We recommend looking at your emergency kit each year and be sure to replace the food inside. 

GET YOUR DOWNLOADABLE EMERGENCY KIT CHECKLIST HERE

Here are some additional items you might want to keep in your emergency kit (beyond the basic items found on the checklist above). 

In your car:

  • Blanket 
  • Candle & matches 
  • Spare clothes and shoes 
  • First aid kit with seatbelt cutter 
  • Flashlight (crank or battery-powered)—Replace batteries once a year 
  • Non-perishable food 
  • Contact information
  • Radio—Replace batteries once a year 
  • Small shovel, scraper and snowbrush
  • Warning light or road flares 
  • Water 
  • Whistle
  • Antifreeze, windshield washer fluid
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Road maps
  • Sand, salt or cat litter (non-clumping)
  • Tow rope and jumper cables 

FAST FACTS:

  • Around 5,000 earthquakes happen in Canada each year.
  • The Saguenay flood of 1996 was Canada’s first billion-dollar disaster and caused mud, rocks, water and trees to become dislodged and 12,000 people had to evacuate their homes.
  • Only 40% of Canadians have an emergency kit prepared, yet 85% of Canadians say it’s important to have one. 
  • Hailstones range in size—They can be the size of peas or baseballs.
  • Hurricanes can cause more widespread damage than tornadoes—Their damage can hit over 1,000 kilometres.
  • In storms, power lines, ice or branches can fall even hours after the storm has ended. 
  • One of the worst storms in Canadian history was an ice storm on the East Coast in 1998—Power outages lasted up to 4 weeks, and restoration efforts cost nearly $3billion. 
  • In 2007, 410 severe weather events plagued the prairie provinces—This is almost double their nearly average of 221 severe weather events.
  • The cost of natural disasters worldwide has increased by $7billion over the past decade. 
  • The biggest landslide in Canadian history saw a 40-metre deep scar that covered 80 city blocks in 1894 at Saint-Alban, Quebec. 

EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS INSTRUCTIONS 

We’ve given you a lot of tips about what you should include in your emergency preparedness kit. Here are more steps you can take for an emergency plan: 

In an emergency

  • Follow your emergency plan
  • Get your emergency kit 
  • Make sure you’re safe before assisting others 
  • Listen to the radio or television for information from authorities—Local officials might advise you to stay where you are. Follow their instructions! 
  • Stay where you are until it’s safe to evacuate. 

Evacuation orders

  • NOTE: Authorities won’t ask you to leave home unless they have a reason to believe you’re in danger 
  • If ordered to evacuate, take your emergency kit, wallet, personal identification for each family member and copies of essential family documents with you. Bring a celluar phone and spare battery or charger with you, if you have one. Use travel routes specified by local authorities. 
  • If you have time, call or e-mail your out-of-town contact (Here’s a printable list you can use to write down contact information) 
  • If there’s time, leave a note that tells others when you left and what you’ve shut off. If officials give the direction, shut off water and electricity. 
  • If you have a natural gas service, leave it on unless officials tell you to turn it off. If you do turn off the gas, the gas company will have to reconnect it—Note that in a major emergency, it could take weeks for a professional to respond in a major emergency. 
  • If you have them, take pets with you. Lock your home and follow instructions from authorities. 
  • If you go to an evacuation centre, register personal information at the registration desk—Leave only when authorities advise it’s safe. 

FOR RELATED READING, CHECK OUT OUR BLOG:

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


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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