Safety Tip of the Week – Knowing What to do in an Emergency

Training in accident prevention as well as emergency situations are both critical parts of an effective safety program. No one wants to think of something bad happening at work, but emergencies in the workplace are inevitable.

Obviously, different types of emergencies elicit different responses. Even similar types of emergencies may require completely different responses depending on the situation and circumstances. Some things to consider when discussing emergency response in the workplace are:

  • Before helping a victim of an incident or before assisting in an emergency, always ensure it is safe for you to do so. Sometimes the best plan is just to get to safety. An event such as a failed confined space rescue resulting in multiple fatalities is an example of making a bad situation worse by trying to help.
  • Do not overreact. Rushing or making poor choices when dealing with an emergency can result in more victims or create a worse situation in general.
  • Understand your company’s policies and procedures regarding specific weather emergencies such as a tornado or flood.
  • Know where emergency meeting points are at your worksite. Also be familiar with the address of a jobsite or for your workplace. If you have to call 911, one of the first questions they ask is- “Where are you located?”
  • Know where emergency response equipment is located onsite and how to use it. Also be familiar with emergency shutoff switches on equipment or machinery.
  • Know the signs and symptoms of common medical emergencies and medical emergencies that can occur in your workplace. Knowing what to look for can make the difference in whether someone gets the medical attention they need or not.
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