Do Your Workers Know What to Do in an Emergency?

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Suppose a fire were to break out in your workplace or a gunman starts randomly shooting people. Would your workers know what to do, such as how to get out, whether to hide, where the fire extinguishers are located and how to use them, etc.? If you think your workers are prepared for emergencies such as these, you may want to think again.

According to a new survey from CareerBuilder, although the vast majority of workers (94%) feel their office is a secure place to work, nearly a quarter of workers (23%) say they wouldn’t know what to do to protect themselves if there was an emergency that posed a physical threat.

The national online survey was conducted on behalf of CareerBuilder by Harris Poll between Feb. 11 and March 6, 2015 and included a representative sample of more than 3,000 full-time workers in the US across industries and company sizes.

When asked their feelings about security in regards to specific forms of threat:

  • Three in ten employees (30%) don’t feel their workplace is well-protected from a physical threat from another person;
  • Most workers (85%) feel their workplace is well-protected in the event of a fire, flood or other disaster; and
  • 83% believe their workplace is well-protected from weather-related threats.

But one in five workers (21%) report their company doesn’t have an emergency plan in place in case of fire, flood or other disaster, and 26% say the same of extremely severe weather. And even more workers (40%) don’t believe their company has an emergency plan in place in case of a physical attack from another person or a technology security breach.

So ensure that your workplace has appropriate emergency plans in place to address the kinds of emergencies to which it’s vulnerable, including serious safety incidents, fires, explosions, weather-related emergencies and workplace violence. And make sure that workers are aware of and trained on these plans, including conducting regular emergency drills.

For information, tools and other resources on such emergencies, go to the OHS Insider’s Emergency Preparedness & Response Compliance Centre, which includes: