When Disaster Strikes, Will You Be Prepared?
Whether it is a hazardous chemical spill or a naturally occurring disaster, it is likely in the construction industry that a workplace emergency will occur on one of your job sites even after all safety measures have been put in place. In many cases, these accidents can lead to employee injury or tragically even death. Per the Occupation Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), a workplace emergency is considered any unforeseen, naturally occurring or manmade situation that poses a threat to employees, customers, or the public, disrupts or shuts down your operations, or causes physical or environmental damage. For contractors, having a well-tuned plan in place in the event of a workplace emergency plays a crucial role in their daily operations.
While it is not feasible for contractors to prepare for every possible situation that may occur on their job site, as Tampa contractor lawyers we highly recommended having a contingency plan in place for when an emergency situation does arise, so they may swiftly and effectively respond.
Constructing an Emergency Action Plan
Planning is a critical stage in the process for constructing an Emergency Action Plan. When an emergency situation arises on your job site, will your employees know what to do? OSHA requires most businesses to develop emergency action plans, however, businesses that are not required by OSHA’s standards can still benefit from adapting one. In the event of an emergency, few people tend to think clearly or rationally, so it is important to have a plan in place and make sure your employees are aware and well-educated on these plans well ahead of time.
An emergency action plan may cover such actions as:
- How to report an emergency
- How to handle emergencies that involve hazardous materials
- Evacuation procedures to follow in the event of an emergency, including route assignments and safe areas
- Procedures for employees who must remain in an emergency to handle critical plant operations or provide other essential services
- Procedures to account for employees after the emergency
- The names and titles of company emergency contacts.
- Policies for dealing with media
You may also need to plan for specific types of hazards or issues depending on the type of work being performed. Some contractors may find that based on certain requirements, they may be obligated by OSHA standards to ensure that their employees are properly trained on the actions to take in the event of a workplace emergency. An experienced contractor lawyer in Tampa can help determine which course of action is right for your business and advise you on how to best effectively communicate those plans to your employees.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.