Safety & Emergency Preparedness Training Requirements at Work

Instructor: Millicent Kelly

Millicent has been teaching at the university level since 2004. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice and a Master's degree in Human Resources.

This article focuses on best practices surrounding the development and implementation of effective safety and emergency preparedness training in the workforce. Read on to learn more.

Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Have you ever wondered what to do in case of an emergency at work? Well if you have, that's not good because good business practice today says organizations should be well-prepared to face emergency situations in the workplace. Say you come to work one day and notice a burning smell while pouring your cup of coffee. You then look up and see some smoke. What do you do? Who do you call?

With proper safety and emergency preparedness training you would know how to handle this situation calmly, efficiently, and effectively. Let's take a look at some of the components that contribute to the development and delivery of effective safety and emergency preparedness training.

Training Guidelines

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has identified several general training guidelines that organizations should consider when implementing and developing safety and emergency preparedness training. Key issues include defining what constitutes a workplace emergency, developing an emergency response plan, and providing annual employee training that clearly communicates established emergency response protocol.

Going back to our previous example, that would mean an organization would define fire and potential fire as a workplace emergency, include how you should respond to the smell and detection of smoke in the emergency response plan, and then provide you with training on whom to call and how to evacuate should you encounter such a situation.

Is it an Emergency?

Depending upon the workplace environment or business purpose, what constitutes an emergency situation can vary widely. In our example, fire and potential fire have been defined as emergencies. To prepare employees in navigating workplace emergencies safely, it is critical for business organizations to first identify what constitutes an emergency prior to addressing appropriate training initiatives.

Although the smell and appearance of smoke is an emergency in our workplace, it might be perfectly normal in a welding plant for example. Assessing workplace dangers from all angles is crucial in the development of safety and emergency preparedness training programs designed to address emergencies.

According to Plan

Once emergency situations, like our potential fire, have been properly identified and defined, an emergency response plan can be developed. Every emergency response plan should include some basic components. These include how emergencies should be reported, evacuation procedures, safe rooms or areas, and employee responsibilities during an emergency. The plan should also include how the organization will notify employees when there is an emergency. It is important that the emergency response plan address all of the emergency situations that were identified as business-specific emergencies, and that the plan is updated on a regular basis to meet changing business needs.

Training Time!

After the emergency response plan has been developed, safety and emergency preparedness training of personnel can be designed and implemented. Safety and emergency preparedness training always needs to start by educating employees on what constitutes and is defined as an emergency situation in their workplace.

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