Do You Have a Good Evacuation Plan?
Jay Pillai, Ph.D. Posted on February 29, 2016
One of the most challenging tasks of an evacuation plan is to ensure that all employees manage to leave the facility safely. It is easier said than done, especially if there are a large number of employees to be evacuated.
It is imperative that safety drills are conducted at regular intervals. For bigger organizations, a ‘Safety Officer’ is essential. Repeated training will ensure that employees act instinctively in an emergency situation without pressing the ‘panic button’. Panic is very dangerous when large crowds are milling around and heading for the exits. This underscores the importance of having a suitable evacuation plan, imparting training and also testing its efficacy.
An evacuation plan may sound good on paper, but realities could be vastly different. There have been instances where fatalities were recorded because someone decided that the Fire Escape door should be locked for security reasons. When a fire broke out, in the ensuing panic, people were crushed and died of smoke inhalation near the fire escape door since it could not be opened.
Even with a well thought out evacuation plan and repeated training, it is possible that there are hidden factors which no one had thought of. The consequences can be devastating. If you think your evacuation plan deserves full marks, think again, it may fall apart in an emergency. Test your evacuation plan by conducting announced and unannounced drills. Fine tune the plan to ensure all employees can get out in a fixed amount of time. You may be in for a nasty surprise. It is not too late; you can take corrective measures even now.
Categories: Employee Safety