Occupational Health and Safety Plans Should Address Disasters

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Occupational health and safety is a cross-disciplinary area concerned with protecting the safety, health and welfare of people engaged in work or employment. The goal of all occupational health and safety programs is to foster a safe work environment.  It's basically another way of saying "health and safety at work."  When developing a safety plan, many companies overlook the importance of disaster planning.  Disasters include things like fire and power outages but also include heart attacks on the job.

Create a Plan for Fire
These days, buildings have countless electronic components; all of which could pose a fire hazard.  Even basic appliances such as coffeemakers, microwaves, and space heaters can be a fire hazard if used improperly.  And a fire is a disaster that can completely paralyze a workplace so having a clear fire evacuation plan is especially important.  Every employee should know what the evacuation process is and what the fire alarm sounds like.  Periodic fire drills are an excellent way to practice and keep employees informed.

Create a Plan for Heart Attack or Other Medical Emergencies
It's very important that your occupation health and safety plan address medical emergencies such as sudden cardiac arrest.  Statistics show that for every minute that passes after a heart attack, you lost roughly 10% of the patient's ability to survive.  That means after just five minutes the victim only has a 50% chance of living.  It makes sense to have a plan in place in case this occurs in the workplace.

The plan could include having certain employees trained in basic first aid or even EMT training.  It could also include purchasing a defibrillator.  It should also have a written component that outlines the steps to be taken in the event of a medical emergency.  The plan should be regularly reviewed.

You never know when disaster will strike the workplace.  Make sure you're prepared by addressing disasters like fire and medical emergencies in your occupational health and safety plan
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