Preparing to deal with any potential workplace injury requires an employer to develop an emergency response plan. Any emergency action plan should include the assignment of rescue and medical duties, either inside or outside the project site, the designation of assembly areas and procedures to account for employees, sites of alternative communication centers, and operation procedures and methods (alarm systems) to alert employees of an evacuation, which also includes the evacuation of disabled employees. An emergency action plan also should discuss the roles of the emergency response coordinator; specifically, the coordinator should have the ability to assess the situation and determine the extent and scope of the emergency that exists. Furthermore, the emergency action plan should include training to address every employee’s specific roles and responsibilities during an emergency evacuation or catastrophic event, including identifying the threats, hazards and protective actions that need to be taken, the notification warning and communication procedures that will be used, and the means of locating family members during any type of emergency. Construction employers can effectively deal with workplace fatalities and catastrophic accidents, but only through proper planning and execution. Think of the plan as an addition to the line of defensive measures you already use to protect your practice from all sorts of threats. The good news is there are numerous resources online to help you develop a plan that uniquely fits your circumstances.
When looking for a list of resources, you may find all you need on the AVMA web page, Emergency Planning Resources for Veterinary Practices-Disaster Preparedness.
Keep policies, contact names and numbers in a safe place that will be easily accessible in an emergency. The AVMA-PLIT website is a rich resource for general information on business insurance options as well as business continuity planning. In a recent phone interview, Kellogg expressed his concern that so few veterinary practices have written emergency plans.

Obviously, finding time to create an emergency action plan is the tallest barrier to overcome. Everything you need to know about emergency veterinary clinics and the veterinarians that run them. 1926.35) that sets forth the policies and procedures to be followed in dealing with emergencies.
In addition, the coordinator will supervise all efforts in the emergency response, including coordinating with outside emergency services, such as local fire and police departments, and direct the shutdown of jobsite operations.
Training also should address the emergency response procedures and the location and use of common emergency equipment and the emergency shutdown procedures for operations on the jobsite. It is virtually impossible for an employer to deal with all the competing audiences that assemble during a catastrophic accident or fatality without such proper planning.
Each landmark can help you make the journey to completing a workable emergency action plan. And, the best way to get that level of acceptance is to involve team members in writing your emergency action plan from the beginning. John Scott of Galveston, Texas wrote a good outline to follow for an emergency action plan.
It would be difficult to calculate the losses that could be avoided or at least minimized by the availability of a workable emergency action plan in those practices. Clearly, every employer, especially construction employers, must not only prepare, but anticipate each potential workplace emergency before it occurs.

The purpose of the plan is to minimize the employees’ potential for injury during an emergency while, at the same time, prepare and train to effectively deal with the emergency. Under this standard, employers are required to do an assessment of range or types of emergencies at their project site, looking at the worst-case scenario. With respect to evacuation routes and exits, OSHA requires that emergency action plans set forth the types of evacuation to be used in an emergency situation.
In fact, effective planning may help reduce the pain and suffering of the surviving family and co-workers, while at the same time allow the employer to resume normal construction operations quicker and reduce the financial and potential legal burdens placed on the company.
A good plan definitely has the potential to save a business when faced with a natural event of disastrous proportions. Let them know of your emergency action plan and learn where they best fit into your protocol.
Understandably, the thought of crafting a written emergency action plan to cover potential challenges caused by a natural disaster might seem as unnerving as manually building a huge boat. A determination must be made on whether outside legal counsel is needed, based on the scope of the workplace emergency. In dealing with any emergency, the employer also should ensure that the insurance issues (such as workers’ compensation) are handled in a timely fashion without a lot of red tape.

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