Now days, you cannot watch the evening news without seeing at least one story of a disaster of one sort or another befalling unsuspecting people who were just going about their daily lives. It’s bad when an event affects just one household. It can be tragic when disaster strikes a business full of employees and customers.
OSHA Federal Regulations
Federal regulations like OSHA encourage every business to have a written emergency and severe weather employee safety plan that covers what employees must do in the event of a disaster – like an earthquake, a riot, an act of violence in the workplace, fire, flood, hurricane, or tornado, just to name a few. SOME businesses are REQUIRED to have a written emergency and severe weather employee safety plan—depending upon the location and the type of business.
Questions To Ask When Preparing a Workplace Safety or Severe Weather Employee Safety Plan
What do you expect your employees to do if they are working at a construction site in the path of a tornado? How do you want your employees to react should a fire break out in your warehouse? If highways become impassable due to accumulated ice or snow, do your employees know what your company expects? What does your business do to protect employees from acts of violence committed by a disgruntled employee or outsider?
Most of this is common sense. However, if your company has addressed the safety topic, or if you have not developed written safety policies AND provided employees with training on the proper response to emergency situations, you are in violation of the OSHA standard. As a business owner or manager, you might even be held liable in a worse-case scenario. There are documented cases of this happening where a business owner or manager knowingly placed employees in harm’s way by failing to consider workplace safety.
Helpful Links for Creating a Workplace Safety Plan
Employers Resource has pulled together some links to websites to help you address the workplace safety topic. This information may be useful in formulating an Emergency Preparedness Plan for your business.