Escape & Rescue: How to increase workers‘ safety
Imagine this: an estimated 65 000 people died due to technological events between 2009-2018, according to the World Health Organization (WHO)1. In most cases, such an event refers to a chemical incident like the uncontrolled release of a toxic substance that can cause harm to the environment and people alike.
Regarding workers’ safety, it is fair to say that some workplaces are more dangerous than others. Nevertheless, being responsible for health and safety, you have to ensure that every employee returns home safe and sound at the end of the day, even in emergency situations. Protecting human life and health is fundamental to our operations at Dräger: Whether developing a company emergency plan, training your employees or providing them with the necessary equipment. This is why we are part of the global Vision Zero Initiative.
You cannot prevent the unpredictable, but you can manage it. Here is how:
Do you have a proper plan to get your people home safely?
Examine your existing emergency preparedness plan to ensure it matches the current conditions and hazards. Be sure that a suitable emergency escape plan is in place. Check that both are complete and up to date.
Are your people equipped in the best possible way?
Review the situation of your emergency and escape equipment. Validate whether escape respirators, masks, hoods & co. are state-of-the-art and keep yourself informed about the latest emergency escape breathing devices.
Where are your workers in the event of an emergency?
In an emergency, people flee. As HSE manager, you need to know the whereabouts of your workers, that everyone is moving to their designated “muster points”, and that no one is remaining in the danger zone.
Do all your workers know what to do when every second counts?
Even though everyone knows the escape/company emergency plan and is adequately trained, awareness of dangerous situations dwindles over time. Therefore, for your workers’ safety, it becomes vital to strengthen your employees’ attention for being constantly aware of occurring risks and the correct use of the escape device.
Also, if an incident happens, employees intuitively want to help, thereby may endanger themselves and others. Finally, examine whether there are clear responsibilities for the emergency and if everyone knows their respective duties.