Considering the two recent incidences in Illinois at an Amazon facility and in Kentucky at a candle factory with the tornado that tore through both of them, it’s a good time to review your emergency action plan and your preparedness for an emergency.
The first thing to do is determine if you have such a plan. If so, when was the last time it was specifically reviewed for the types of emergencies that have the potential to occur? With the current physical conditions of your facility, has there been structural changes such as an addition, has the equipment been moved around or cubicles re-arranged? Determine if the evacuation planning is current or shelter-in-place planning is still workable? Based on the determination, the plan may need to be updated.
If the plan is up-to-date, then determine when the last time the Managers and Supervisors reviewed the plan or received very specific training on implementing the plan with full drills and practice or, at least, table-top exercise to review actions to take during an emergency. If this cannot be easily determined by sign-in sheets and training documentation as to what was reviewed and/or if drills were carried out, then one, the training, drills or table-top exercises need to be conducted with the Managers and Supervisors then documented.
Once the plan is up-to-date and the Managers and Supervisors have been trained, now we focus on the employee training and drills. Again, determine when the last time the Employees received very specific training on following the plan with drills and practice to review actions to take during an emergency. If this cannot be easily determined by sign-in sheets and training documentation as to what was reviewed and/or if drills were carried out, then one, the training and/or drills need to be conducted with the employees then documented.
Three good references for information and places to start are:
- OSHA web page titled “Emergency Preparedness and Response”.
- Ready.gov web page titled “Business – Preparedness Planning for Your Business”
- American Red Cross web page titled “How to Prepare for Emergencies”
For more information and/or assistance, contact:
Wayne Vanderhoof CSP, CIT
RJR Safety Inc.