• Close to 60% of Americans are wholly unprepared for a disaster of any kind
  • 54% of Americans don’t prepare because they believe a disaster will not affect them
  • 15 to 40% of businesses fail following a natural or manmade disaster

Workplace Preparedness

No one likes to think about the “bad” stuff that can happen every day, but natural, manmade and even technology-related disasters affect thousands every year. Is your workplace prepared?

Preparedness plans keep employees safe during emergencies. Planning before a disaster occurs is critical to their safety.

  • Know what natural disasters are more likely to occur in your region, such as floods, wildfires, earthquakes, tornados, extreme heat, hurricanes, landslides and winter storms.
  • Have a plan in place for handling human-caused disasters such as fires, accidents, hazardous materials spills, acts of violence and even acts of terrorism.
  • Identify potential technology-related emergencies related to your business, including operational failures and malfunctions with systems, equipment and software that may cause a crisis for your business.

Workplace Preparedness Key Elements

  • Emergency plans
  • Training workers
  • Personal protective equipment

Some workplaces may be required by OSHA to have emergency action plans that meet standards set out by 29 CFR 1910.38. This will dictate whether workplaces with 10+ employees are required to have a written emergency action plan in place, the minimum elements to be included, alarm systems, training and reviews.

Employees should be trained at the outset when a workplace preparedness plan is put into place, annually and whenever the plan is updated.

Plan for potential hazards such as falling or flying objects, chemical splashes, toxic gases and other types of emergencies by ensuring the appropriate Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) is available.

And, of course, you’ll want to conduct regular, and random, drills and exercises to ensure your workplace preparedness plan will keep employees safe during emergency situations.

Workplace Preparedness Emergency Equipment

Employees need to know:

  • Evacuation plans, escape routes and alarm systems
  • Reporting procedures for all employees
  • Shut down procedures
  • The Emergency Response Coordinator and his or her responsibilities

Workplace Preparedness Resources

Sources for statistics above, in order:
1. American Red Cross Preparedness Survey, 2006
2. The Aftershock of Katrina and Rita: Public Not Moved to Prepare, 2005
3. Insurance Information Institute, 2000

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