Would your employees know what to do if there was a fire at your workplace?
OSHA reports that fires and explosions kill 200 and injure more than 5,000 people on the job each year. Even small fires can be detrimental to a business – both to its property and personnel. A fire can be detrimental to everything in its path; burning down buildings and hurting anyone who is in its way. From major injuries and disfigurements to psychological trauma and death, fires can happen extremely quickly and have catastrophic results. For this reason, fire safety matters to every person at every level of an organization.
Even if there is emergency protocol in place, the reality is that many don’t think about how they would react to a fire until they hear the sound of an alarm.
While you may not be able to entirely eliminate the chances of a fire in your workplace, taking precautions to safeguard your workplace can significantly help. Follow these steps to help protect your products, property and, most importantly, people.
Have a Plan
Create an escape strategy customized to your workplace. Ensure that each fire exit, extinguisher and smoke detector is located within a reasonable distance from each of your workers – usually within 75 feet.
Communicate this plan to each of your workers. Include it in onboarding training, have supervisors review the procedures with their teams regularly and post pictures of the escape routes throughout the building.
Did you know that 39 per cent of workplace fires are electrical? Risks of fire in the workplace can be greatly reduced if your employees are aware of the hazards around them. Make sure appliances and tools are in good condition, never overload outlets and keep flammable materials away from the workspace.
A great way to create a safe workplace is by having a JHSC. Electing members of your workplace to establish emergency roles, agendas, schedules, policies and accurate record keeping is a great way to promote a positive culture surrounding safety on the job. This committee is responsible for identifying hazards (as mentioned above), developing safety programs and providing training for the rest of the staff.
Train Your Team
Risks to workers can be greatly reduced if they are trained and prepared for a fire emergency. In fact, those who are trained on fire safety are much more likely to respond appropriately and take action when faced with an emergency. Training your team not only helps your workers make an educated assessment of the situation, but it also helps develop a sense of self-confidence in their abilities to do so.
Always Be Prepared
Fire safety can’t be done in one day and requires continuous learning and quality assurance. Looking for more information on how you can keep your workplace prepared? Be sure to download our Fire Plan Checklist.
Want to learn more? View all of our fire safety resources.