Prepare for workplace emergencies by having an up-to-date emergency action plan.

They say, “Proper planning prevents poor performance.” The 5 Ps may not be applicable to everything, but a properly prepared emergency action plan can help prevent disorganized employee actions or emergency responses during workplace emergencies.

Nationwide Agribusiness recommends you prepare for tornadoes, floods and other workplace emergencies, such as chemical spills and fires, by putting together a comprehensive emergency action plan. In an emergency, it can provide a clear path through the chaos as well as save precious time when minutes count.

At a minimum, your emergency action plan should include but is not limited to the following elements:

  • Means of reporting emergencies. Train employees on how to immediately report emergencies to other employees and the proper authorities, such as your local fire department. Assess your employee alarm system for adequacy and post emergency numbers on or near each phone.
  • Evacuation procedures and emergency escape route assignments. Every employee should understand who is authorized to order an evacuation, under what conditions an evacuation would be necessary, how to evacuate and what route to take. Draw detailed maps of major facilities, including power rooms, electrical mains, access points to buildings, access roads, water hydrants, nearby bodies of water and rail intersections.
  • Procedures to be followed by employees who remain to operate critical plant operations before evacuating. Your plan should list key employees with designated duties, such as shutting down utilities and other special equipment, operating fire extinguishers and administering first aid.
  • Procedures to account for all employees after an emergency evacuation has been completed. Designate assembly area or areas, both inside and outside your workplace, where employees should gather after evacuating. Designate individuals to help move employees to assembly areas and to take head counts.
  • Rescue and medical duties for those employees who are to perform them. Depending on the size of your operation, you may want to assign employees with rescue and medical duties. At the very least, develop a list of major fire hazards and assigned workers responsible for the control of each hazard.
  • Names and job titles of persons who can be contacted for further information or explanation of duties under the plan. List the name and job title of every employee who may be contacted by employees who need more information about the plan or an explanation of their duties under the plan.

The purpose of this information is to assist your facility in developing an emergency action plan as required by OSHA. The information is an interpretation by Nationwide Agribusiness Insurance of OSHA’s emergency action plan requirements. Under no circumstances do the suggestions constitute a warranty. Additionally, these interpretations may not present the entirety of OSHA standards or underwriting guidelines of Nationwide Agribusiness Insurance.

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