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October 5, 2015

Is Your Workplace Ready to Deal with Disaster?

Believe it or not, the most important time to leave your workplace quickly isn’t closing time on Friday. Lives can easily be in jeopardy should an emergency situation arise, so it’s the wrong scenario for you to be relying on dumb luck. Fires and explosions alone were responsible for 148 deaths on the job in 2013.*

This fact becomes even more alarming when you consider the multitude of other potential hazards that can strike without warning, for example:
  • Severe Weather / Natural Disasters
  • Workplace Violence
  • Power Loss
  • Chemical Spills
In larger cities, the potential of responding to a terrorist attack stands out a serious concern as well. The one thing all of these emergencies have in common is that when they occur on your site, you’re safer elsewhere. Emergency exits and exit routes save lives every year, so having them in place and prepared for use is a must for any business looking to be safety savvy.

One of the many resources available to help employers ensure they’re ready is the OSHA Quick Card on Emergency Exit Routes. This briefly reviews requirements for exits, safety features for exit routes, and design and construction requirements for a generalized reach into the topic.

There are, of course, businesses whose very nature or location leave them more prone to being visited by a specific emergency situation than any other. While earthquakes are a constant concern on the west coast of the United States, people on the opposite end of the country should be much more concerned about hurricanes.*** And in the Midwest, tornadoes are a big concern.

Don’t know where to start in developing a complete emergency response plan? You can turn to OSHA’s Evacuation Plans and Procedures eTool.  No business is immune from emergencies, however, every business can be prepared for them.

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