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Aditi Securing Your Future

Evacuation Procedures & Training

Workplace Emergency

A workplace emergency is an unexpected situation that threatens your employees, customers, or the public, interrupts or shuts down your operations, or causes physical or environmental damage. Emergencies may be natural or manmade and include the following:

  • Fires
  • Explosions
  • Civil disturbances
  • Workplace violence results in bodily harm and trauma.
  • Toxic gas releases
  • Chemical spills, etc.

 

How to Protect Yourself, Your Employees, And Your Business?

The best way is to respond to an emergency before it happens.
Few people can think clearly and logically in a crisis, so it is important to do so in advance when you have time to be thorough.
Brainstorm the worst-case scenarios. Ask yourself what you would do if the worst happened. What if a fire broke out in your office premises? or a toxic gas was released? Once you have identified potential emergencies, consider how they would affect you and your workers and how you would respond.

 

Emergency Action Plan

An emergency action plan covers selected actions that employers must take to ensure employees’ safety from fire and other emergencies. Even if you are not specifically required to do so, compiling an emergency action plan is a good way to protect yourself, your employees, and your business during an emergency.
Putting together a comprehensive emergency action plan that deals with all types of issues specific to your worksite is not difficult. To do that you need to consult experts on this subject and ADITI will fulfill this requirement on behalf of your company.

 

What Should Your Emergency Action Plan Include?

When developing an emergency action plan, it’s important to look at a wide variety of potential emergencies that could occur in the workplace. It should be tailored to the worksite and include information about all potential sources of emergencies. Developing an emergency action plan means we should do a hazard assessment to determine what, if any, physical or chemical hazards in the workplace could cause an emergency. If the workplace has more than one worksite, each site should have an emergency action plan.

At a minimum, your emergency action plan must include the following:

  • A preferred method for reporting fires and other emergencies
  • An evacuation policy and procedure
  • Emergency escape procedures and route assignments, such as floor plans, workplace maps, and safe or protection areas;
  • Names, titles, departments, and telephone numbers of individuals both within and outside the company to contact for additional information or explanation of duties and responsibilities under the emergency plan.
  • Procedures for employees who remain to perform or shut down critical plant operations, operate fire extinguishers or perform other essential services that cannot be shut down for every emergency alarm before evacuating.
  • Rescue and medical duties for any workers designated to perform them. To consider designating an assembly location and procedures to account for all employees after an evacuation.

In addition, the following ideas will come handy if it includes in the plan:

  • The site of an alternative communications centre to be used in the event of a fire or explosion.
  • A secure on- or offsite location to store originals or duplicate copies of accounting records, legal documents, your employees’ emergency contact lists, and other essential records.

 

How Do You, Alert Employees, to An Emergency?

The plan must include a way to alert employees, including disabled workers, to evacuate or take other action, and how to report emergencies, as required.
The steps you must take are as follows:

  • Make sure alarms are distinctive and recognized by all employees as a signal to evacuate the work area or perform actions identified in your plan.
  • Make available an emergency communications system such as a public address system, portable radio unit, or other means to notify employees of the emergency and to contact local law enforcement, the fire department.
  • Stipulate that alarms must be able to be heard, seen, or otherwise perceived by everyone in the workplace.

 

Evacuation Policy and Procedures

A disorganized evacuation can result in confusion, injury, and property damage. That is why when developing an action plan is important to determine the following:

  • Conditions under which an evacuation would be necessary.
  • A clear chain of command and designation of the person in the business authorized to order an evacuation or shutdown.
  • Specific evacuation procedures, including routes and exits. Post these procedures where they are easily accessible to all employees.
  • Procedures for assisting people with disabilities or who do not speak English.
  • Designation of what, if any, employees will continue or shut down critical operations during an evacuation. These people must be capable of recognizing when to abandon the operation and evacuate themselves.
  • A system for accounting for personnel following an evacuation. Consider employees’ transportation needs for community-wide evacuations.

 

 

Evacuation Routes and Exits

When preparing an emergency action plan, assign primary and secondary evacuation routes and exits. To the extent possible under the conditions,
ensure that evacuation routes and emergency exits meet the following conditions:

  • Clearly marked and well lit.
  • Wide enough to accommodate the number of evacuating personnel.
  • Unobstructed and clear of debris at all times.
  • Unlikely to expose evacuating personnel to additional hazards.
  • Prepare drawings that show evacuation routes and exits, post them prominently for all employees to see.

 

 

Account For Employees After an Evacuation

Accounting for all employees following an evacuation is critical. Confusion in the assembly areas can lead to delays in rescuing anyone trapped in the building, or unnecessary and dangerous search-and-rescue operations. To ensure the fastest, most accurate accountability of employees, we must consider the following steps in the emergency action plan:

  • Allocate assembly areas where employees should gather after evacuating.
  • Take a headcount after the evacuation. Identify the names and last known locations of anyone not accounted for and inform the official in charge.
  • Establish a method for accounting for non-employees such as suppliers and customers.
  • Establish procedures for further evacuation in case the incident expands. This may consist of sending employees home by normal means or providing them with transportation to an offsite location.

 

Employee Information to Be Included In The Plan

In the event of an emergency, it could be important to have ready access to important personal information about the employees. This must include employee home telephone numbers, the names and telephone numbers of their next of kin, and medical information.

 

What Type of Training Do Your Employees Need?

Educate the employees about the types of emergencies that may occur and train them in the proper course of action. The size of your workplace and workforce, processes used, materials handled, and the availability of onsite or outside resources will determine the training requirements. Be sure all employees understand the function and elements of the emergency action plan, including types of potential emergencies, reporting procedures, alarm systems, evacuation plans, and shutdown procedures. Clearly communicate to the employees who will be in charge during an emergency to minimize confusion.

General training for the employees should address the following:

  • Individual roles and responsibilities
  • Threats, hazards, and protective actions
  • Notification, warning, and communications procedures
  • Ways to locate the family members in an emergency
  • Emergency response procedures
  • Evacuation, shelter, and accountability procedures
  • Location and use of common emergency equipment
  • Emergency shutdown procedures.
  • First-aid procedures.

 

 

Training

Alarm Operation

  • Type – single or Two
  • stage – Audible or otherwise – total or partial – Notification to central point.

Power – Stopping central A. C., isolating power supplies.

Call the fire brigade

  • Precise instructions – Security or receptionists instructions.

Evacuation

  • Two-stage instructions – closing of doors and windows, a search of toilets, etc.
  • Responsible persons for carrying out the patients by various rescue methods.

Assembly

  • Away from premises/undercover / mutual arrangement with nearby premises.

Roll Call

  • Registers – Responsible person
  • Reports to Fire Brigade Officer about any missing employees/inmates.

Testing of installations and equipment

  • During the Drill, the real performance of all the available fire fighting installations and equipment, viz. Hose Reel, Fire Extinguishers, Emergency Lighting, alarm system, Sprinkler system, Smoke management system, Fire Doors, Water tanks, Fire Pumps, etc. have to be tested and deficiencies if any shall be recorded in the Fire and Emergency Drill check List.
  • It is the responsibility of the building management to rectify the deficiencies immediately to ensure fire and life safety.

 

Signs and Plans

 

Signs at the Lift Landings

  • A sign shall be posted and maintained in a noticeable place on every floor at or near the lift landing in accordance with the requirements, indicating that in case of fire, occupants shall use the stairs unless instructed otherwise. The sign shall contain a diagram showing the location of the stairways except that such diagram may be omitted, provided signs containing such diagram are posted in conspicuous places on the respective floor.

  • A sign shall read “IN CASE OF FIRE, USE STAIRS UNLESS INSTRUCTED OTHERWISE”. The lettering shall be at least 12.5 mm block letters in red and white background. Such lettering shall be properly spaced to provide good legibility. The sign shall be at least 250 mm x 300 mm, where the diagram is also incorporated and 62.5 mm x 250 mm where the diagram is omitted. In the latter case, the diagram sign shall be at least 200 mm x 300 mm. The sign shall be located directly above a call button and squarely attached to the wall or partition. The top of the sign shall not be above 2 m from the floor level.

 

 

Floor Numbering Signs

  • A sign shall be posted and maintained within each stair enclosure on every floor, indicating the number of the floor, in accordance with the requirements given below.
  • The numerals shall be of bold type and at least 75 mm high. The numerals and background shall be in contrasting colours. The sign shall be securely attached to the stair side of the door.

 

Stair and Elevator Identification Signs

  • Each stairway and each elevator shall be identified by an alphabetical letter. A sign indicating the letter of identification shall be posted and maintained at each elevator landing and on the side of the stairway door from which way out is to be made, in accordance with the requirements given below;
  • The lettering on the sign shall be at least 75 mm high, of bold type, and contrasting colour from the background. Such signs shall be securely attached.

The fire command team shall be provided with the floor plan of the building and other relevant information related to the service equipment of the building.

 

 

Evacuation Planning Guidelines

  • It is essential to prepare & plan the evacuation according to the structure of the building.
  • These Evacuation Planning Guidelines aim to detail the various measures and operational actions that need to be undertaken by the company in the event of any fire or other emergencies to minimize injury to personnel and damage to property.

 

The Emergency Response Plan (ERP)

  • An Emergency Response Plan is a plan which contains information on types of fire safety measures that are provided for in designated premises & includes floor layout plans and evacuation procedures.
  • The ERP consists of the layout drawings of the building list of names forming the Fire Safety Committee, duties, and responsibilities of designated responders during the emergency, emergency actions during and after operating hours, and other relevant information.

 

The Fire Safety Committee

The complexity of an Emergency Response Plan is dependent upon the following factors:

  • The size of premises
  • The premises height
  • The number of occupants
  • Premises type
  • The special risk associated with the premises

In the case of commercial high-rise buildings, it is necessary that the occupants operate not as individuals but collectively as a team for the implementation of the Emergency Response Plan, and to form a Fire Safety Committee.

The responsibility for forming and maintaining such a committee lies with the owner or his designated official. All key appointment holders of the Fire Safety Committee should preferably hold managerial or supervisory positions so that duties could be discharged effectively.

A Fire Safety Committee should be represented by all stakeholders (including tenants) of the premises.

The committee should also include the following appointment holders:

  • Fire Safety Manager / Coordinators / Assistant Coordinators
  • Fire Warden / Assistant Fire wardens
  • Chief Security Officer / Security officer
  • Fire Command Centre operator
  • Company Emergency Response Team (CERT)

 

The preparation and conduct of a fire evacuation drills are usually carried out in 3 stages:

 

Stage 1

  • Determine evacuation drill date, time, and assembly area/s.
  • Prepare the ERP under SCDF guidelines.
  • Educate and distribute ERP and guide books to everyone.
  • Nominate all the key personnel for the evacuation drill.
  • Conduct briefings and meetings with all key personnel.
  • Prepare and distribute the following items for the drill such as:
    • Identification helmets/ caps
    • General instruction files
    • Armbands
    • Floor registers
    • List of nominated personnel with contact numbers
    • Logistical needs
    • Signages
    • Evacuation drill status board
    • System testing

  • Prepare/ distribute all necessary notices and circulars.
  • Conduct a tabletop exercise to ensure the committee understands its roles.
  • Nominate fire safety committee to assess the fire evacuation drill.

 

 

Stage 2

Before activating the alarm, ensure the following:

  • Revise with the key personnel to make sure they are familiar with their functions
  • Reporting and support centres are set-up
  • Monitoring stations and relevant authorities notified
  • Announcement messages prepared

Inform DECAM company of the fire drill When evacuation starts, monitor the following:

  • Floor evacuation status
  • Assembly area evacuation status
  • Fire situation status

Support centres status For disaster situation:

  • Implement recovery plan
  • Determine command and control center
  • Determine a press release center
  • Expansion of support centers to include inquiry post

 

 

Stage 3

Immediately after the fire evacuation drill, conduct meetings with fire safety committees.

  • Conduct debrief/ meeting with key personnel
  • Prepare comments to all fire wardens
  • Send a letter of thanks to all parties concerned
  • Prepare a fire evacuation drill report to include the following topics:
    • The scenario of the fire drill
    • Management response
    • Evacuation procedures
    • Occupant participation, the total number of occupants, and the number of participation
    • Evacuation time
    • SCDF’s comments (if any)
    • Fire Safety Committee’s comments
    • Conclusion (compare previous drills)
    • Attachments such as Evacuation drill status records, record sheets, participating names

After the training must review the emergency action plan with the employees and everyone has had the proper training, it is a good idea to hold practise drills as often as necessary to keep employees prepared. Include outside resources such as fire and police departments when possible. After each drill, gather management and employees to evaluate the effectiveness of the drill. Identify the strengths and weaknesses of the plan and work to improve it.