What to do in an emergency at work

What to do in an emergency at work

Tragedy can strike at any time, even when you are at the office. Whether it is an accident, injury or a natural disaster, there are certain steps you can take to ensure that you have the best chance of survival in the event of an emergency in the workplace.

Most workplaces have a registered disaster management team. This team is usually made up of a number of employees who have been sent for Emergency Response Training. When anything happens where people are injured or are in imminent danger, this team must mobilise and put the relevant procedures in place.

For example, in the event of a fire, the fire drill protocol should be followed.

According to Advanced CT, all workers are tasked to alert all other individuals in the workplace by activating the nearest fire alarm, shouting clearly or by using other procedures set in place by your company. Use the nearest exit to evacuate the workplace. Use a fire extinguisher to put out the fire.

Regular fire drills should be scheduled, at least every few months.

Stay calm

The best decisions are made with a clear head. It seems easier said than done, but in any emergency in the workplace, or other location, remain calm. The best way to do this is to breathe!

Some calming techniques recommended by experts include breathing exercises, visualisation techniques and muscle relaxation exercises, says Safety Line.

During an emergency, stress can lead to mistakes; that is why it is advisable to have an automated safety system in place to summon help when employees are unable to do so, and this will also escalate an emergency if a contact is unable to respond. By removing the human element, you can ensure that as tensions rise, mistakes won’t.

Like anything in the workplace, an emergency response often becomes a team effort. You’ll need to be ready to coordinate your response with others.

Emergency evacuation

For most big emergency procedures, there is an evacuation procedure that needs to be followed to a tee, or chaos could ensue.

Safety UWA has guidelines to execute the evacuation without a glitch:

As soon as the alarm sounds, prepare to leave the building.
Secure all confidential materials and valuables, collect personal belongings, shut down experiments and switch off computers, electrical appliances, equipment and machinery.

Exit the building using the nearest and safest exit route. All doors should be closed on leaving.
Do not lock any of the doors.

If possible, take hand-held personal belongings with you when you leave. Do not return to collect belongings.

Assist any disabled person on leaving the building, or to the nearest fire-isolated or fire safe haven for high-rise buildings. Do not attempt to carry people down stairs.
Walk quickly and calmly to the designated assembly area.

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