Common Safety Plan Mistakes
Emergencies in the workplace may happen when least expected but on no account should these catch an organization and its employees unprepared. Having a safety plan ensures worker safety and helps minimize damage to property. One needs to pay equal attention to the do's and the don'ts, so that if and when an emergency arises, you are in a position to put the safety procedures to work.
Here are common safety plan mistakes that can happen when designing and implementing an emergency response plan.
Unsystematic apportioning of responsibilities and lack of clarity in the chain of command
This is a problem that results in crucial time being lost during an emergency. Worker safety in an emergency depends upon every individual knowing his role during an emergency. For example, in case of a fire whose responsibility is it to sound the alarm? What are the steps involved with the evacuation procedure?
Lack of practice and insufficient drills
Unfortunately, too little practice is a common issue. Establishments that do not carry out drills and do not practice mock evacuation scenarios are at risk, more so if the business has a high worker turnover. New employees may not know what to do.
Safety equipment in non-working condition
Lapses in maintenance of fire hoses, fire extinguishers, gas masks, ladders, hard hats, alarms, insulating gear, etc can result in avoidable casualties and delayed evacuation. If equipment is changed or updated, then appropriate changes in the maintenance manual and schedule must be made.
Neglect in updating an emergency plan regularly
This can compromise the safety of workers. Factors that may necessitate a relook at emergency response plans include changes in state and federal policies regarding such practices. New machinery may require adherence to different safety norms than what are currently implemented. Changes in the floor plan may hinder access to emergency exits and refuge areas.
Lack of Mix of Both Proactive and Reactive Measures
Organizations can sometimes fail to implement pre-emptive measures that can prevent safety issues from occurring. A good safety protocol must have a mix of pro-active and reactive measures so that ideally emergencies are averted, and in case, something happens, there is an implementable plan in place.
No Separate Policy for the Differently Abled
Another common mistake made when drawing up safety plans is to not have separate plans for the differently abled. People with hearing impediments may not be able to hear alarms. Workers unable to walk or run may lag behind. Employees unable to read instructions written in English may not be able to effectively contribute to the evacuation or emergency response process.
No Separate Policy for the Lone Worker
Lone workers, ones that work remotely or away from their colleagues and employer, are exposed to a different set of dangers. Without a traditional brick and mortar setting, a lone worker has to contend with risks specific to his immediate environment and also must face commonplace risks without immediate help nearby. Not having a separate lone worker safety policy and not training such workers to respond to emergencies is often a huge issue, as these workers face a completely different environment than those within the building.
All of the above are important items to take into account when creating your own safety plan. Hopefully, by learning from the mistakes of others, you will be able to develop a comprehensive and effective safety plan for your company. To learn more about SoloProtect and lone worker safety, visit www.soloprotect.com/us.