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Be Prepared: Potential Emergencies Your Employees Need to Be Prepared For
Accidents, natural disasters and other emergency situations happen everywhere, and the workplace is no exception. When your employees’ lives are in danger, it’s crucial to have a set plan to address the situation as quickly and effectively as possible. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are more than 5,000 workplace fatalities each year in this county. The vast majority of these are preventable given the right safety precautions and procedures. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OHSA) has done a decent job throughout the decades reducing workplace deaths nationally, but more work is needed to further bring down the death and injury toll. Workplace emergencies come in a variety of forms. Here are some of the most common dangers in the workplace and how to act decisively if they occur.
According to Begam Marks & Traulsen, fires kill between 3,000 and 4,000 people each year in the United States. Many more are seriously injured. The dangers of fire in the workplace come not only from the threat of burning and the extreme heat but also from the inhalation of smoke that can seriously impair breathing and even suffocate employees who have not evacuated the building. To prevent injuries from fire in your business, comply with all pertinent regulations and make sure you have a clearly designated path to the outside, including having clearly marked exit signs for stairs that lead to safety.
Fires are not the only reason you may need to evacuate your employees. Exposure to toxic chemicals, bomb threats or natural disasters such as earthquakes may also require evacuation. Having a solid plan for an orderly, quick departure is critical. This includes proper lighting. According to Creative Safety Supply, wayfinding using photoluminescent floor signs is the most logical option during an emergency evacuation and can help employees safely find the exit.
Serious health conditions of some employees can trigger emergency situations at work. Common examples include heart attack and stroke. While the key for any of these contingencies is to get the affected employee to the hospital as soon as possible, it may sometimes be necessary to render aid, as in the case of loss of consciousness. Having at least two employees who are qualified to perform CPR could potentially save another employee’s life.
It’s important to deploy and maintain proper safety equipment on your premises. Plan for these situations, and regularly train your employees on how to react calmly and effectively when they arise. Doing so will help to make sure that you and your employees can stay safe in the workplace.
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