Two of the most serious components of workplace dangers are substandard equipment and inadequate planning. Fires destroy thousands of workplaces every year. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which is commonly shortened to OSHA, exists to help prevent fires, various workplace hazards and accidents. Workplace safety cannot be achieved by only one individual. To be effective, it must include OSHA, compliance with other regulations, employee cooperation and diligence from employers. In addition to this, employers must ensure that workers receive thorough training and understand the safety procedures. Since every employer wants to avoid fines or possible lawsuits, it is essential to have the strongest safety plan possible. The following steps are helpful for creating an emergency preparedness a plan.
Employers should ensure that all workers know the locations of fire extinguishers and exits. Annual training should be provided to retrain workers how to use extinguishers. After creating evacuation maps, employers should place them in visible areas throughout the workplace. Each employee should receive a handbook with the company’s safety procedures and evacuation plans. Employers can also involve employees in monitoring the workplace for fire hazards.
Check Lights And Exits
Lighted exit signs should be placed above every door leading outside. When fires occur in buildings, the smoke is so thick that it reduces visibility considerably. If exit signs are not lit, employees may not be able to see the doors to escape safely. In addition to this, stress, panic and stinging sensations in the eyes only complicate the task of exiting a burning building. Employers should have the batteries and light bulbs in these signs inspected and replaced frequently. Fire extinguishers should also be inspected and marked.
Practice drills are essential to test employees’ capabilities to escape safely. During each drill, ask employees to find the nearest fire extinguisher. Have them practice communicating with others to call 911 and take other steps included in the plan. Stress the importance of teamwork for surviving a workplace fire.
Encourage employees to ask questions. Some people may be afraid to ask questions, so they should feel that every question is welcome. In addition to hosting a group question-and-answer session following a safety meeting, ask employees to submit anonymous concerns in a locked drop box. Some people may be afraid to bring up safety issues if they involve another worker who they feel may retaliate. Emphasize that every note is confidential and no names will be disclosed. If workers have to wonder whether their employers will tell other workers about complaints involving them, they are more likely to remain silent than to come forward.
Keeping good records and complying with OSHA’s standards are both important components of a solid safety plan. Employers should keep important forms such as the Form 300, which is used for work-related injury reports, stocked and in an accessible place. Using these forms is a helpful way to pinpoint problem areas in the workplace.