What are emergency evacuation processes?

Knowing a building’s unique emergency evacuation process is essential to be prepared for an emergency situation. Emergency conditions have the ability to strike anytime and are either caused by internal threats within the building or external threats stemming from events outside of the employees’ control. For that reason, being prepared for an emergency at all times is imperative for employees to get out safely without acquiring serious injuries.

Emergency Evacuations: Step-by-Step

The first step in an emergency evacuation process is safely stopping work. Employees must shut down equipment that might pose a hazard during an emergency situation. Once shutting off machinery, the employee is encouraged to quickly gather their personal belongings such as medication, glasses, and car keys, if they can safely do so.

Safe means of egress comes next. Employees must leave the building through the nearest exit. However, it is recommended that elevators are not to be used during an evacuation process as there is the possibility of becoming trapped on the way down. Doors must also remain unlocked for all occupants to get out safely. Throughout this time, assisting anyone such as disabled people or children will help with getting everyone out in a timely manner.

The third step involves reporting your presence at the designated assembly area. Accounting for all those who were in the building is imperative for emergency responders because they need to know if search and rescue protocols are necessary. When in this area, it is a good time to notify emergency responders of any missing persons that are known as well as equipment that may have become unstable in the present conditions.

Lastly, wait for instructions from the emergency responders while there. No one can reenter the building until they are told it is safe to do so by either police or fire department members. For that reason, employees and others must remain in the designated assembly area until further notice.

These four main steps are greatly improved with the help of employees knowing their emergency route before an emergency situation arises. Without that knowledge, there will more than likely be an increase in injuries as well as potential casualties. A proper emergency action plan, or EAP, requires training for employees to be compliant with OSHA’s regulation 29 CFR 1910.38, and going over emergency evacuation routes are indeed on that list of requirements.


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