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Ready at Work

Preparing in the Workplace

Emergencies can strike at any time, ranging from natural disasters like earthquakes and floods to man-made incidents such as fires and even active shooter situations. ReadyOC's newest preparedness campaign, "Ready at Work," is here to make sure you and your workplace can be prepared for any emergency.

From creating Emergency Action Plans (EAP) to training your workforce on how to respond during crisis situations, it’s important that your workplace emergency preparedness plan is not only comprehensive but is also adapted for every department and office setup.  

Construction Manager
Emergency Action Plan

Does your workplace have a plan in place? By establishing an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) in your office, your workplace can be well-equipped to face the unexpected. The most effective EAPs include input from all stakeholders and departments within your company including law enforcement and/or emergency responders. According to the Department of Homeland Security, here are some of the items you will need for an effective EAP: 

  • A preferred method for reporting fires and other emergencies 

  • An evacuation policy and procedure 

  • Emergency escape procedures and route assignments (I.e. floor plans, safe areas)  

  • Contact information for, and responsibilities of individuals to be contacted under the EAP

  • Information concerning the nearest hospitals (i.e. name, telephone number, and distance from your location)  

  • An emergency notification system to alert various parties of an emergency including:  

    • Individuals at remote locations within premises 

    • Local law enforcement officials 

    • Local area hospitals  

  • Proper planning and instructions for persons with special needs or disabilities 

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Workplace Training

Training in the workplace for emergency preparedness is crucial to ensure the safety and well-being of employees. Effective training can also mean the difference in saving lives as employees practice clear and efficient communication, having plans set in place, and outlining clear duties.  

Be sure to put your EAP into practice, ensuring everyone understands their roles and responsibilities should disaster strike. Setting time aside for your office to practice routine trainings, such as fire and earthquake drills, allows your workforce to be ready for the unexpected.  

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Stay Prepared: Evacuation Routes
  • Ensure that your facility has at least two evacuation routes  

  • Post evacuation routes in conspicuous locations throughout your facility 

  • Include local law enforcement and first responders during training exercises 

  • Ensure your building is handicap-accessible, in compliance with ADA requirements. 

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Preparing by Department

Your human resources department and facility managers should be engaged in planning for emergency situations. To mitigate the impact of any unexpected situation, your company should consider instituting the following practices: 

Human Resources 
  • Conduct effective employee screening and background checks 

  • Create a system for reporting signs of potentially violent behavior 

  • Make counseling services available to employees 

  • Develop an EAP which includes policies and procedures for dealing with workplace emergencies such as:

  • Earthquakes 

  • Fire 

  • Extreme weather 

  • Active shooter situations  

Facility Managers 
  • Establish access controls (i.e., keys, security system pass codes)

  • Distribute critical items to appropriate managers / employees, including: 

    • Floor plans 

    • Keys 

    • Facility personnel lists and telephone numbers 

  • Coordinate with the facility’s security department to ensure the physical security of the location 

  • Assemble crisis kits containing: 

    • Radios 

    • floor plans 

    • staff roster 

    • staff emergency contact numbers 

    • first aid kits 

    • flashlights  

  • Place removable floor plans near entrances and exits for emergency responders  

  • Activate the emergency notification system when an emergency situation occurs. 

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