Disaster Planning: What Employees Need to Know

Making sure that all employees receive basic emergency response training is a critical part of disaster planning, whether you are planning for a workplace fire or a natural disaster like a tornado or flood. This training session will help you identify different types of workplace disasters, understand the requirements of your emergency response plan, carry out emergency response assignments effectively, and evacuate quickly and safely in an emergency.

Why “Disaster Planning: What Employees Need to Know” Matters

  • Fires are the most common type of workplace emergency. The National Fire Protection Association reports that a fire department somewhere in America responds to a fire every 16 seconds. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that fires cause as many as 10,000 employee injuries and 200 employee deaths every year. In addition, the U.S. Fire Administration says that losses from industrial fires cost U.S. businesses over $4 billion a year in property losses and more than $8 billion in business interruption costs.
  • Explosions resulting from fires, bombs, or other causes can claim many lives, leave many more badly injured, and destroy property.
  • Natural disasters such as earthquakes and tornadoes can strike with little or no warning. Hurricanes and floods may be forecast, but effective emergency action in these situations may nevertheless be required.
  • Toxic chemical releases can require emergency response within the workplace and in the surrounding community.
  • Workplace violence can erupt at any time in any department. We must be prepared to respond quickly and appropriately in these dangerous and sometimes life-threatening situations.
  • Since the Oklahoma bombing, the events of September 11, 2001, and subsequent terrorist activity around the world, it has become clear to all Americans that we must be prepared to face the possibility of terrorist attacks in the workplace at any time.

Key Points

  • Workplace disasters can strike any time and with very little warning
  • Emergency response planning can save lives, reduce the number of injuries, and prevent loss of property
  • You need to know what to do during a workplace emergency as well as how to protect your home and family during natural disasters
  • Keep work areas clean and free of clutter.
  • Take steps now to control flammable and combustible materials in your department and make sure they do not pose a fire or explosion hazard. For example, large accumulations of waste paper or other combustible materials can pose a significant fire hazard.
  • Obey “No Smoking” rules. Careless disposal of cigarettes and matches can lead to fires and explosions.
  • Store and handle hazardous materials properly, according to the instructions on the label and on the material safety data sheet.
  • Use and maintain equipment properly.

Duration: 24 minutes

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