If you face an unforeseen emergency at work, such as a fire or explosion, don't waste precious moments trying to figure out what to do and who to listen to. Your emergency plan should have a chain of command that gives one person overall responsibility for managing the incident, and supervising other employees responsible for carrying out specific tasks.

At the top of the chain is the emergency scene commander, a trained employee who will issue orders to others during the emergency. This person might be a facility manager, emergency director, or some other supervisor. The commander's responsibilities will include:

  • Assessing the incident to determine if it requires an emergency response
  • Supervising emergency scene coordinators (volunteer employees trained in various emergency tasks)
  • Coordinating professional responders, such as ambulance, police, and fire departments
  • Directing shutdown of critical workplace equipment and/or operations
  • Determining the need for an evacuation and managing an evacuation
  • Supervising the activities of emergency scene coordinators

Each of these coordinators should be responsible for a specific number of employees in a particular work area. They should know how to respond to worksite emergencies, direct evacuation procedures, and use emergency communication equipment. Make sure to train the coordinators in CPR, first aid, and responses to threats of violence. Their responsibilities should include:

  • Checking rooms and other enclosed spaces for employees who might be trapped or unable to evacuate
  • Knowing who might need assistance during an evacuation and how to help them
  • Coordinating emergency activities of employees
  • Knowing the workplace layout, appropriate escape routes, and areas that employees must not enter during an evacuation
  • Verifying that all employees are in designated safe areas after evacuation

Our risk management professionals would be happy to provide a comprehensive review of your emergency plans.

Need insurance for You, Your Family or Your Business?
We can match you to a qualified, local insurance expert!
Further Reading
The disastrous Japanese earthquake/tsunami of March 2011 drowned thousands of people - but the toll would have been far higher without the nation's comprehensive warning system, which combined radio broadcasts, text messages, and sirens with firefigh...
Let's say you have a beer or one cocktail at a party, trip over the carpet, and wind up in the emergency room with a broken ankle. Now imagine the shock of finding out later that your Health insurer is denying your claim due to the presence of alcoho...
When an accident occurs on the job, if the very first call being made isn't to 911, it had better be to the on-site medical staff. There are facilities where a sort of "chain-of-command" procedure is in place for responding to emergencies: The first ...
As a small business owner, you always look for ways to improve your company's bottom line. Sometimes, you may be so focused on helping the business succeed that you forget your own needs. Be prepared for unexpected financial challenges, give your fam...
Heavy rains, floods, hurricanes and tornados can all threaten your home and family this spring. While no amount of preparation prevents volatile spring weather, a home emergency kit helps you prepare to be safe and survive. Survival Essentia...