Dealing with emergency situations at the office

Be sure you have appropriate safety equipment on hand at your workplace and that people know how to use it.

By Will Sanford

Hopefully, you won’t have to deal with a lot of office emergencies in your lifetime. However, as a responsible small business owner, you need to be ready for anything. Emergencies come out of nowhere, and if you are not properly prepared, your business can suffer a lot of damage. Regardless if you experience a power outage or a fire emergency, your employees and you need to know how to act in such situations to minimize the damage and, most importantly, avoid potential injuries.

So, let’s go over some of the most common office emergencies you may face, as well as how to prepare and properly deal with them. Don’t worry; it’s easier than you think.

Create a system

Before we start talking about different types of emergencies, you first need to develop a system or a plan of action. In case of an emergency, all of your employees, including you, need to know what their responsibilities are. Of course, as a small business, you don’t need ten evacuation coordinators; just one is enough. However, you will need to train that person.

Furthermore, all your employees need to know the evacuation plan in case of a severe emergency like a fire. If a fire breaks out, chaos can ensue instantaneously. But if you teach your employees how to act in such situations, you can keep everything under control and minimize the damage. Finally, make sure everybody knows where the fire extinguisher, fire alarm switch, and other emergency equipment are, and of course, how to use them. Usually, your local fire department will help you with this. So, contact them to learn about the regulations for your area.

Train your staff in first-aid procedures

Besides the above-mentioned training, you should have a couple of your employees go through first-aid training. In case somebody suffers an injury at work, you need to know how to apply first aid while you wait for the first responders to arrive. This can literally be a matter of life and death. So, make sure that you have at least one employee that is undergone first-aid training in the shift.

Handling a power outage

Another common office emergency is a power outage. Power outages can happen for a number of reasons. Bad writing, problems on the grid, and even extreme weather conditions can cause your business to go offline. Just look at Australia right now. They are experiencing record high temperatures that are blowing up fuses all over the country. Sydney-based companies like Glenco Electrical Services are flooded with requests for a 24-hour electrician in Sydney and surrounding suburbs. Naturally, as a business owner, you want to bring your business back online as soon as possible to minimise the losses, and that is where an emergency electrician comes in. Make sure you know who to call for a fast response when such problems occur.

How to deal with a fire emergency

With that out of the way, we can talk about the most common emergencies, starting with the fire hazard. The cause of the fire can be anything from bad wiring and elemental disaster to even human negligence. In case of a fire, your actions will depend on the size of it. If a trash bin caught on fire, you can deal with that with a fire extinguisher.

However, if the smoke is coming out of your electrical sockets, that is a case for the firefighters. Immediately report the fire and start the evacuation of your offices. Also, go to the main power breaker and switch off the power to the entire property. This will potentially kill the fire or at least stop the source of the fire.

Of course, these are not all the office emergencies that you might experience. Flooding is another common one, but dealing with burst pipes is similar to dealing with power outages; just call in the professionals to help you sort out the problem. But if we are to highlight the most important thing from this article, then, without a doubt, that would be teaching your employees how to act in emergencies. After all, lives come before any property.

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Will Sandford is a Sydney based wood architect, blogger and contributor on interior design and ecology blogs. Besides that, he is also interested in home improvement combined with green technology. In his spare time, Will enjoys surfing and rock climbing. He is a regular contributor to SmoothDecorator website. Connect with Will on his Twitter account.

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