How Much Do You Really Value Your Employees?
In the last calendar year, how have you prepared your employees for an unforeseen event, i.e. critical incident? Critical incident is defined as, any event that prevents your organization from operating normally.
OSHA standards [29 CFR 1910.38(a)] require an employer to have a written (10+ employees, oral with fewer than 10) emergency action plan (EAP). In addition, this section defines the content and the need to train all employees when the plan is created, changed or an employee’s role in the plan changes.
When you say, “Our most important asset is our employees”, do you live this mantra by investing in your employee’s safety and well-being? In the event of a catastrophic event in your workplace, do all of your employees know the proper procedures to deal with emergencies?
Besides the legal requirements and potential penalties, what are the moral and ethical issues with failing to prepare your employees? To what extent is your liability exposure increased?
What issues should be addressed in an emergency action plan? By OSHA regulations, the following are the minimums:
- Means of reporting a fire and other emergencies
- Evacuation procedures and emergency escape route assignments
- Procedures to be followed by employees who remain to operate critical plant operations before they evacuate.
- Procedures to account for all employees after an emergency has been completed
- Rescue and medical duties for those employees who are to perform them
- Names or job titles of persons who can be contacted for further information or explanation of duties under the plan.
In addition to the above topics required by law, thought should be given to armed assaults, terrorism, earthquakes, power outages and more.
What does your plan include? When was the last time it was updated? Has everyone been trained? Are you confident enough planning/training has been conducted to insure the safety of your employees?
Besides what is required by law, have you entertained the idea of offering optional training for your employees? Many companies have included personal safety, concealed handgun licensing, first aid, etc. during brown bag lunch time sessions or designated training sessions.