Emergency Evacuation Procedure & Training Guide
For most businesses, employee evacuation procedures are a necessity to ensure the safety of your staff in the event of an emergency. These evacuation procedures and training can become critically valuable to you and your employees during crisis situations than can arise within your organisation. These policies and procedures can also save your business from significant losses in the event of a catastrophe.
Whether you are establishing or maintaining crisis and evacuation procedures, it’s also critical to provide quality emergency evacuation training to your teams. This is important, especially for those within your organisation that fits within a deskless worker role, given they will need to know what to do in the event of an emergency. Read on to learn more about the importance of emergency evacuation procedures, procedure training best practices, and the importance of providing training to your employees.
Next read: Managing risk is an important part of managing a business, consider adding emergencies to our risk assessment matrix.
Emergency Evacuation Procedures
These are the procedures that you should follow in an emergency evacuation situation.
- Be Prepared
- Familiarise yourself with the building’s evacuation plan and designated exit routes.
- Identify the nearest emergency exits and alternate escape routes.
- Participate in regular evacuation drills.
- Have an emergency kit ready, including essential items such as a flashlight, first aid kit, and important documents.
- Stay Calm:
- Remain calm and composed during an emergency to make rational decisions and avoid panic.
- Alert Others:
- If you discover an emergency situation, activate the nearest fire alarm or alert building occupants by yelling “Fire!” or “Emergency!”
- Follow Instructions:
- Listen to and follow any instructions given by emergency personnel, building management, or public address systems.
- Evacuate Quickly and Safely:
- Begin evacuating the building immediately, using the nearest safe exit.
- Do not use elevators during an evacuation, as they may become inoperable or unsafe.
- Help others who may require assistance, such as the elderly, disabled, or young children.
- Close Doors:
- Close doors behind you as you exit to help contain fire or smoke.
- Stay Low:
- If there is smoke present, stay low to the ground to avoid inhaling toxic fumes.
- Use an Alternate Route:
- If your primary exit route is blocked or unsafe, use an alternate escape route.
- Gather at the Designated Assembly Point:
- Once outside, proceed to the designated assembly point at a safe distance from the building.
- Do not re-enter the building until instructed by emergency personnel.
- Account for Everyone:
- Perform a headcount or roll call to ensure everyone has safely evacuated the building.
- Report any missing individuals to emergency personnel.
- Contact Emergency Services:
- Call 911 or your local emergency number to report the incident and provide details.
- Await Further Instructions:
- Stay at the assembly point and wait for further instructions from emergency personnel.
Key Elements of an Australian Evacuation Plan
While the above elements are important evacuation procedures, it is also important to consider those that are required by law*. The Australian Standard AS 3754 requires certain procedures to be followed in the case of an emergency.
The key elements include:
- Emergency planning committee (EPC) and emergency control organization (ECO): Establish an EPC responsible for developing and maintaining the emergency plan, and an ECO to manage evacuations during emergencies.
- Emergency plan: Develop a written emergency plan that details procedures for various emergencies, communication methods, and training requirements.
- Evacuation diagrams: Display clear and legible evacuation diagrams at regular intervals throughout the facility, showing exit routes, assembly areas, and the location of emergency equipment.
- Training: Conduct regular training and evacuation drills for occupants and ECO members to ensure they are familiar with the emergency plan and procedures.
- Review and maintenance: Regularly review and update the emergency plan, particularly after any significant changes to the facility or its occupants.
*Please note that these guidelines may not be exhaustive or cover every situation. It is essential to consult the appropriate regulatory bodies and local authorities for specific requirements in your area.
The Importance of Emergency Evacuation Procedures
Emergencies can happen at any time and can occur in every business. Therefore, it’s important that your business should have a plan in place to ensure the safety of your employees. Emergency evacuation procedures are designed to ensure that everyone knows what to do in the event of an emergency. Whether it’s a natural disaster, a fire, chemical spills, or an active shooter situation, procedures help your employees navigate a crisis more swiftly.
Overall, emergency evacuation procedures are crucial for all employees and more so for deskless workers. Deskless workers often are working on assembly lines or in non-desk-based positions, which does not often afford them as much warning time necessary in the event of a crisis. This is where having an emergency evacuation plan and providing training on it is not only important but also critical for the safety of your employees.
Benefits of Emergency Evacuation Training
An Emergency evacuation training plan is a valuable and beneficial program for any business. It provides the opportunity to train employees on emergency procedures and prepare them to respond quickly and effectively in the event of an emergency. This type of training can result in the following benefits:
1. Reduce liability
Emergency procedures can help reduce your company’s liability by ensuring that your employees are properly trained and understand established evacuation policies and procedures. Liabilities such as workers’ compensation, lawsuits, loss of revenue, and damaged brand reputation all fall part of this. prepared to handle any situation.
2. Reduce panic & injuries
Employees who have been trained in emergency procedures are less likely to panic or make mistakes in an emergency situation. This can lead to injuries or even fatalities when dealing with hazardous materials, fire, or electricity.
3. Reduce financial losses
Additionally, it can not only help save lives and prevent injuries, but it can also help you avoid significant losses to your buildings, facilities, or operations in the event of a disaster. By having an established plan in place, you can minimise the damage to your business and ensure that you are back up and running as quickly as possible.
Training Employees on Emergency Evacuation Procedures
In correlation with your procedures, your training should cover the guidelines that employees should follow in the event of an emergency. According to the Australian Standard, the government has policies such as the AS 3754, which outlines “minimum requirements for the establishment, validation, and implementation of an emergency plan for the safety of occupants of that facility and its visitors leading up to and during an evacuation.”
These standards can include how to evacuate the building, where to go once they are outside, and how to communicate with other employees and emergency responders. Evacuation training and procedures should be provided to all employees, including new hires. Also, it is commonly recommended that businesses should be conducting training and procedures on a regular basis to ensure that everyone knows what to do.
3 Best Ways to Train Employees
When it comes to training your workforce on emergency evacuation procedures, there are several employee training methods. These best practices can be critical to ensure your employees know what to do in the event of an emergency. The following are 3 main ways you can integrate training your employees in the event of an emergency evacuation situation.
1. Provide interactive safety awareness and training courses
Providing real-world information as well as interactive training videos and simulation can help your employees understand what the procedures are for your organisation. It will also be important to provide them access to where they can locate a fire alarm, how to contact emergency response personnel and other general evacuation plan information.
For example, you can provide employees with an interactive training map of where fire extinguishers and emergency warning systems can be located in the building. This allows your employees to know what to do in an emergency situation and how to help their fellow co-workers in the event of an evacuation. You can also build a training course on fire safety and other general evacuation training procedures within a learning management system.
It’s important also to ensure you are supplying employees with access directly through your training module resource system can be helpful in an emergency situation. Your general evacuation training should also be conducted during both the onboarding of employees and with required periodic refresher training.
2. Deliver hands-on or instructor-led emergency evacuation training
Hands-on training on emergency procedures within your company can help your employees be equipped with both the policies in the event of a crisis situation and the training on how to evacuate in the event of an emergency. For example, training should include information that ensures the employees of your organisation are familiar with the emergency exits and fire escape routes in your building or facilities.
Your organisation can also provide information on what to do regarding chemical spills and other information to ensure their well-being and safety while working. This can include conducting evacuation drills and simulations to help employees understand the procedures and what to do in the event of an emergency.
3. Supply refresher training and access to procedure resources
Refresher training on crisis procedures periodically can ensure that your employees are familiar with the guidelines and what to do in the event of an emergency. Emergencies do not often happen every day, but providing regular refresher training and drills can help protect the safety and well-being of your company. Refresher training can include conducting routine fire drills and other crisis evacuation simulations regularly. Additionally, you will want to ensure you are providing ongoing education, awareness, training, and access to necessary resources.
Other Cloud Assess Training
If you are looking to upskill and train your employees, Cloud Assess covers the following training in our blogs:
- Competency training
- Manual handling training
- Harassment training
- Time management training
- PPE training
- Risk assessment training
- Conflict management training
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