Remembering 9/11: Preparing for Emergencies in the Workplace

September 8, 2011

The Lessons Learned from 10 Years Ago and from Recent Events

As we near the 10th anniversary of the tragic events of September 11th—a day that will never be forgotten in history—Maryland was one of many states of the northeastern region of the United States to receive a gentle reminder of the importance of preparing for life’s unexpected events.

On Tuesday, August 23rd, Maryland experienced its first major earthquakes in decades and just 4 days later, Maryland went dark thanks to the wrath of Hurricane Irene.  While these natural disasters left their own paths of destruction that pale in comparison to that of 9/11, there’s certainly a lesson to be learned about preparing yourself for emergencies at the workplace.

The office can present a lot of different environmental challenges during times of emergencies.  From high-rise buildings to large amounts of people, there is a considerable amount of preparation needed to prepare everyone at the office for the unexpected.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), there are just a few things that a workplace should consider when developing a plan for the office:

  • Develop a preferred method for reporting fires and other emergencies;
  • Create an evacuation policy and procedure;
  • Establish emergency escape procedures and route assignments, such as floor plans, workplace maps, and safe or refuge areas;
  • Compile names, titles, departments, and telephone numbers of individuals both within and outside your company to contact for additional information or explanation of duties and responsibilities under the emergency plan;
  • Put procedures in place for employees who remain to perform or shut down critical plant operations, operate fire extinguishers, or perform other essential services that cannot be shut down for every emergency alarm before evacuating; and
  • Define rescue and medical duties for any workers designated to perform them.

To view OSHA’s complete booklet on “How to Prepare for Workplace Emergencies and Evacuations”, click here.

This post is brought to you by Dale Carnegie Training of Maryland and the DC Metro Area. We would love to connect with you on Facebook.

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