It’s a New Year… Are You Prepared?

Knowing what to do in case of an emergency is only possible if a plan is made ahead of time.  Everyone needs to know their specific role for a variety of circumstances, to make sure everyone is safe in an emergency.  In most cases, your organization will have emergency response plans already in place (fire drills, procedures for inclement weather, what to do in case of violent visitor or customer, etc.).  However, without practice and education, will your employees really know what to do if any of these situations were to occur?

In Saskatchewan, fire drills are required once every 12 months.  But is a fire the only emergency your organization may encounter? Of course not!  Holding other emergency drills throughout the year can help your employees:

  • Understand their training (how it works “in the real world”)

  • Demonstrate their competency, or “show they know”

  • React calmer in a real emergency

  • Identify gaps in the plan – did it work for them?

  • Stay engaged in the process. If their feedback is being incorporated into the plan, they are more likely to use it appropriately.

In addition to full-scale drills, which can be disruptive to your business, consider other ways to engage your employees in practice.  This could be through small-scale role plays or mock situations, table top drills (you walk through what you would do in a certain situation), or other learning exercises.  Keep in mind, these can be fun and out of the box ways to engage your staff and get the good ideas flowing!

Here is an article about an organization who has found fun ways to engage their employees during their regular fire drill.

The possibilities are endless, and the practice and review could save a life (or many) one day.  So instead of groaning when your next required drill comes up, consider what you’re really trying to achieve. 

 

SHSA Posters (Workplace Violence Prevention & Know your Extinguisher):

SHSA Form: Emergency Response Drill Template

WorkSafe Sask: Emergency Response

CCOHS: Emergency Planning

Saskatchewan Occupational Health & Safety Regulations:

360 (3) An employer, contractor or owner shall ensure that: (a) designated persons and workers who have been assigned fire safety duties are adequately trained in, and implement, the fire safety plan; (b) the fire safety plan is posted in a conspicuous place for reference by workers; and (c) a fire drill is held at least once during each 12-month period.

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