Business Ideas

Develop an Emergency Safety Plan for Your Business

In your business, much of your time is consumed by raising capital, getting your product or service sold and hiring people. Donít forget about workplace health and safety. Itís your legal duty to evacuate your employees and keep them safe in the event of an emergency. Theyíll be looking to you for leadership and, in todayís world, you have to plan for every possible disaster.

General requirements

Federal law requires every employer to provide a workplace free from recognized hazards regardless of the size of your business. No one is exempt from this general requirement.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) enforces the federal workplace safety laws. Over the past 30 years, OSHA has developed hundreds of rules and regulations specific to every business and occupation. You must learn about the rules and regulations for your business and implement them at your workplace.

Developing an emergency plan

One of the first things you must develop is an emergency plan. How will employees and/or customers get safely in and out of your business? Do your employees know about them? If a fire started in one location, could everyone get out safely by another route? Are there known hazards that require special steps in the event of, for example, a power outage?

Preparing your employees

As we learned on September 11th, you canít predict every emergency but you can prepare your employees.

Hereís a sample Emergency Instruction you can use:

  • Stop work and leave the building immediately when the fire/emergency alarm sounds or you are instructed to do so.
  • Follow instructions, avoid panic, and cooperate with those responding to the emergency.
  • Proceed to the designated or nearest exit.
  • Do not delay your exit from the building by looking for belongings or other people.
  •  When leaving the building go to a designated area well away from the building. Do not re-enter the  building until instructed to do so.
  • Listen to and follow the instructions of rescue personnel and the police.
  • If you canít re-enter the building, go home or to a designated location.
  • The above rules will be enforced. Periodic emergency drills will be conducted.

Set up a Quick Reaction Team

You should organize a Quick Reaction Team to take charge in an emergency. The team would be responsible for:

  • Arranging for the evacuation of employees;
  • Making sure everyone is accounted for;
  • Rendering first aid and coordinating help with rescue workers;
  • Contacting the families of employees;
  • Arranging for employees to meet at a designated safe location;
  • Salvaging and restoring business records;
  • Keeping the business operating during the emergency; and
  • Conducting drills.


Copyright ©  1987 - 2010 A. Harold Davis, CPA





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