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Emergency Preparedness in the Workplace

Workplace getting prepared!

Back-to-school season is in full swing. The faces of kindergartners and first years have the same rosy glow and sometimes—if you’re not heading back to school yourself—seeing all of the fresh outfits, new hairdos and hip backpacks that go along with the season… can be nostalgia-inducing!

For many people, September has more of a new-year feel to it than the New Year we celebrate on January 1st. If you’re one of those people who is experiencing a gush of motivation, but there’s no school in sight, this post is for you! In a recent blog post, we talked about emergency preparedness programs in schools and today we want to let you know that if you’re a working professional, it’s still a great time to assess the safety of the office. After all, the average Canadian spends 37 hours a week in the workplace!

Here are a few thoughts to consider if your office doesn’t have an emergency plan or emergency supplies in place.

  1. Ask your office manager if you can be in charge of putting together an emergency kit for the office. You’ll want to consider how many people are in the office on a daily basis, assess the highest risks in your area, and then start gathering supplies such as food and water, flashlights and radios, blankets, candles and first aid kits.
  2. Distribute an emergency preparedness guide to your coworkers.
  3. Set up a team meeting so you can discuss an emergency strategy based on your location, and your office space. You’ll want to consider all emergency exits and meeting points, and have a plan in place. It’s also a good idea to know of any designated safety personnel or floor wardens in your building or area, and ensure that everyone knows how to contact them.
  4. Include all pertinent information, including contact information and exit instructions, in your discussion. Ask someone to write down the plan (or do it yourself) for fires, earthquakes, power outages, etc. Then, make copies for each of your coworkers.
  5. Go through your emergency kit and make sure everyone understands the function of each piece of equipment and how to use it.

Creating an emergency plan doesn’t have to be a pain. In fact, building something like this could be a perfect team-building exercise! Even if you have a plan in place, you may want to consider brushing up on your plan at your next work retreat.

-Article contributed by Sophie Wooding – Avid gardener and cyclist in Victoria, BC and Content Writer for Frontier.io

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