Ensuring a safe workplace is essential with more people returning to the office. But safety doesn’t just mean having hand sanitizer and a first aid kit. The unfortunate fact is emergencies often happen when we least expect them.
Businesses that have mostly had their employees working from home for the past several years may be surprised to find that their previous evacuation plans are outdated and no longer relevant. They may also be surprised to find that their previous evacuation plans were always irrelevant for some people.
Often, people with disabilities and mobility issues aren’t considered in evacuation plans, or even if they are, the considerations often leave much to be desired, such as a common policy of leaving disabled people in the building during evacuation drills in businesses and schools.
Checkout Three Prime Ways To Ensure Your Workplace Evacuation Plan Is Inclusive:
In some jurisdictions, the law requires workplaces to provide safe means of evacuation, but in others, the law is less direct. But regardless, making sure your evacuation plan is inclusive isn’t just something that should be done because it might be legally required.
Put simply, making sure everyone in your workplace can safely evacuate in an emergency is the right thing to do.
Here are ways to ensure your evacuation plan is inclusive.
1. The Right Equipment
Many jurisdictions say that a safe evacuation route must be provided by employers in the event of an emergency. It’s important to consider a variety of needs and be sure that you have the right equipment.
For example, elevators are often shut down during emergencies to prevent malfunction. While many employees can safely evacuate by stairs, people who have reduced mobility may not be able to navigate stairs safely or at all.
Purchasing affordable stair chairs for sale to keep near any staircase is an easy and effective way to ensure anyone can safely descend the stairs. Make sure your business has the equipment necessary for all employees and visitors to make a swift and safe exit.
2. Proper Training
Having the right equipment is essential to make sure your workplace evacuation plan is inclusive, but that equipment is often ineffective if proper training hasn’t been conducted.
It’s important to train several people in your workplace on all equipment, so that safe evacuation is always available, even if some employees are home sick, on vacation, or in need of using the equipment themselves.
Demonstrate how to use the equipment properly and safely, and give everyone a chance to operate the equipment during the training.
It’s important to remember that training should never be a one-time thing. Just like evacuation drills are conducted regularly to keep lessons fresh in mind, training should be regularly refreshed to ensure designated operators remain comfortable using the equipment. It also provides an opportunity to inspect equipment and make sure it is working effectively.
3. Make Planning Inclusive
We can go on and on about what you need to include in your evacuation plan to make it more inclusive, and these tips are definitely a great place to start, but most importantly, the key to making your evacuation plan more inclusive is to ensure everyone has a voice.
Talk to employees about their needs and challenges to better address these issues and make sure everyone has a safe way to evacuate.
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