Emergencies can happen at a moment’s notice, giving you no time to prepare or ask questions. In those situations, having been proactively trained on how to respond and how to act can make or break the outcome.
A study done by Rave Mobile Safety found that only 75% of polled companies in the United States have plans in place for hazardous materials incidents and instances of workplace violence. On top of that, only 54% of those businesses have prepared employees for cases of civil unrest. While these problems may seem distant and unable to harm your organization, every business must be ready for the worst — even if emergencies never strike.
Let’s take a look at emergency preparedness training and what requirements your team needs to cover to stay safe.
Why Emergency Preparedness Training Is Important
Training is essential to ensure every worker knows what to do when there’s an emergency or disruption of business operations. When each individual is familiar with the protective actions, including evacuation procedures, shelter recommendations or protective gear, everyone can focus on keeping themselves safe before ensuring everyone else around them is, which is the most proactive approach to an emergency situation.
The types of risks your organization is exposed to will depend on your industry and type of work. If you deal with chemicals or handle any types of hazardous materials, you’ll have different safety measures than manufacturers. The vital thing to keep in mind is that when proactive measures are in place and people are prepared, not only are they safer, but the company can return to work as usual faster.
OSHA states that emergency planning in the workplace should include:
- Escape procedures and escape route assignments.
- Special procedures for employees who perform or shut down critical plant operations.
- Systems to account for all employees after evacuation and for information about the plan.
- Rescue and medical duties for employees who perform them.
- Means for reporting fires and other emergencies.
When everyone knows what’s expected of them and has an action plan for each and every scenario, emergency response can be less stressful and harmful to involved individuals.
4 Phases of Emergency Management
According to FEMA, there are four phases of emergency preparedness and management: mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. Each of these phases is essential for an organization to be fully ready to face an emergency successfully.
This phase is where organizations take action to prevent or reduce the cause, impact and consequences of risk. To help identify what hazards may impact a business, it’s beneficial to conduct a risk assessment. The types of problems your company determines as a risk will depend on the industry, but the most common OSHA violations that cause injury include:
- Fall protection.
- Hazard communication.
- Respiratory protection.
- Powered industrial trucks.
- Fall protection training requirements.
- Eye and face protection.
- Machine guarding.
If your company deals with any of these elements, you must determine which could be potential dangers to staff members. Other risks outside your organization, like weather and civil situations, can’t be avoided, but you can create an emergency plan on how to protect your team and respond.
Preparing employees for emergencies and other events that can’t be mitigated fully includes planning, training and providing educational opportunities. Thinking about and getting people ready for the worst can help your business respond effectively. The best way to do this is to come up with the most ideal response to the identified threats. For instance, having escape routes or safe places for people to go to during extreme weather or natural disasters. Another aspect of disaster preparedness is having access to first aid kits and the numbers for emergency responders in every area of the company.
After a disaster, the response phase is where personal safety and well-being are taken care of and addressed. If this phase wasn’t prepared for, it will only be a reaction to the situation, which can be chaotic and disorganized. Rather, an effective response is intentionally proactive and focused on appropriate actions for every individual. Employers with a strategic emergency plan in place will also be able to communicate with their employees quickly to ensure everyone is safe and going through the necessary steps based on their roles and responsibilities established in the preparedness phase.
Lastly, recovery is the period of restoration where an action is taken to return the organization to regular operations and activities. Taking corrective action is more seamless when a recovery plan is established during the preparation phase, guiding employees through emergency procedures.
Modern Training Solutions Made Accessible
When it comes to safety, you need the most flexible and high-quality emergency management training solution available to ensure every person on your team receives the most accurate and up-to-date information. Video Training Power provides teams with a library full of on-demand video training resources that can encourage engaging classroom-style discussions among your workers.