Construction Site Safety: The Importance of an Emergency Action Plan
Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration (OSHA) requires all businesses to have an Emergency Action Plan in place as a basic right of employee safety in the workplace. It’s the employer’s responsibility to make necessary arrangements to facilitate employee safety and limit potential losses during workplace emergencies.
An Emergency Action Plan specifies methods and procedures to handle unexpected situations. It is a detailed plan of emergency preparedness to minimize losses.
The fact is that construction sites face a greater risk of accidents and disasters. Accordingly, it is required that these plans should be made for each project separately. The risk of disasters and emergencies varies depending on the nature of the project, the geographical location, the special equipment being used, etc. These factors must be evaluated thoroughly and then an EAP should be developed accordingly.
Some of the key reasons why an EAP is important for construction site safety are given below:
Developing a written Emergency Action Plan is important to fulfil the legal requirement of OSHA standards.
An EAP is important because it helps identify what resources and systems the company needs to employ to minimize loss in case of emergencies and make the overall safety processes easier to follow.
Guides the Actions
Every human responds differently to the same situation. Emergencies create a situation of fight or flight, and staying in control of employee actions here is imperative. An EAP guides the employees with the right course of action to follow during these times of stress. This helps them to remain calm and respond more effective in dealing with an emergency.
A Chain of Command
The employees of an organization that has developed an EAP knows there’s a designated emergency team to turn to know which route is safe and should be used for evacuation from the site area. The duty to call emergency service also lies upon that team. A clear chain of command must be present at the time of emergency; otherwise, lack of dedicated leadership can create chaos and cause more harm.
Improves Employees’ Morale
Your employees’ morale can improve when they know that the company they work for values their safety –– especially when they know there is a well thought out plan in place to help protect it. More employees will want to work for you and it can pay dividends in helping improve your brand.
OSHA suggests that emergency preparedness training and drills should be undertaken annually for employees. This ensures that emergency resources are easily accessible and in working condition. Moreover, a written plan becomes easy to practice as everyone knows their roles and duties.
An EAP also guides users on how to report the incident, if and when it happens.
Employees might require some help to overcome post-incidence trauma. The company needs to have a plan that will help its employees to get over post-traumatic stress such as making professional counselling services available.
Unforeseen emergencies and disasters can hit anyone at any time and could impact your business negatively. As a responsible employer, developing an EAP tailored to construction site safety is key to minimizing risks and limiting damages.