How often should you conduct emergency drills in your company?

Simangele Mzizi, Fsp Business, 07 Apr. 2014

Tags: emergency drills, conducting emergency drills, when to conduct emergency drills, developing and implementing an emergency preparedness and response plan, emergency preparedness and response plan and emergency drills

Section 8 of the Occupational Health & Safety Act (OHSA) says you must develop and implement an emergency preparedness and response plan. One of the things you must do when you implement your plan is to conduct emergency drills. This’ll help ensure your employees know what to do and where to go when an emergency strikes in your workplace. Continue reading to find out how often you should conduct these drills so you can fully comply with the OHSA.

You MUST conduct emergency drills at least once every three to four months

Conducting emergency drills at least once every three to four months will help ensure all employees know what they need to do in an emergency.

The Health & Safety Advisor  says during the drills, all of the appointed responsible people should carry out their special actions. After each emergency drill, hold a post mortem.

A post mortem will help you evaluate whether your emergency plan will work by recording the following information:
  • How long did it take for everyone to reach their assembly points?
  • Are the appointed responsible people doing what they’re supposed to?
  • Is the roll call process working?
  • Were the appointed teams successful or were they confused?

From this information you’ll be able to pinpoint certain activities or issues that you need to review so you can update or change your emergency plan accordingly.

In addition to your regular emergency drills, you must also have emergency drills for the appointed responsible people.


Do your employees know about the different fire equipment?

If a fire breaks out in your building, would your employees know what to do or how to use the fire extinguisher?


Here’s a checklist of actions to include in emergency drills for appointed responsible people

  • Using a fire extinguisher (by putting out a controlled fire)
  • Taking a fire extinguisher with them when they leave the work area
  • Taking their first aid kits with them to the assembly points
  • Treating a person for minor injuries
  • Cleaning up a mock spill
  • Searching for and rescuing any trapped workers
  • Securing work areas (shutting windows and doors, clearing the area of people)
  • Shutting down the electricity supply
  • Shutting down plant and machinery
  • Or any other action you’ve listed in your emergency plan.

There you have it. Conduct emergency drills at least once every three to four months to make sure your employees are well aware of what they need to do during a real emergency.




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