From operations at large construction and oilfield sites to environmental activities in remote river valleys and secluded mountains—who sends help when your team has suffered a safety incident?
You are required to ensure the safety and wellbeing of your employees. Emergency preparedness and response mechanisms must be in place to support your employees at all times.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in the United States offers general preparedness guidance in the Principal Emergency Response and Preparedness Requirements and Guidance document that “details emergency response and preparedness requirements for a number of specific industries.”
For example, employers must “provide trained personnel and adequate first aid supplies to render first aid when a medical facility is not in near proximity to the workplace.” How would your organization measure proximity to medical teams for your sites? This proximity has a significant impact on your overall response time.
In the UK, the Health and Safety Executive provides a checklist to help your organization determine its strategy on how to respond to emergencies. A critical component is ensuring that your team has an “assessment for allocating staff to roles within the emergency plan.”
And the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) offers emergency preparedness courses as a resource for Canadian organizations.
Are you responsible for contacting emergency responders? Do your teams work at remote worksites with a contracted ambulance service? Are your colleagues involved in the process and know their roles and responsibilities? A clean and concise plan is required to achieve an efficient emergency response if a safety incident occurs.
When an emergency does occur, time is of the essence and challenges often affect an efficient response. How fast can your organization respond?
EMERGENCY RESPONSE TIME CHALLENGES
When your employees, especially your lone workers, are in need of help, how is the emergency response managed?
You’re on the clock from the onset of the incident—whether you know that someone needs help or not. Your overall response time is a combination of the time to detect the incident plus the time it takes for responders to get on-site and deliver help.
Whether a rescue is required via ambulance, boat or airlift—knowing an event has occurred, locating the employee and dispatching a response are your top priorities.
Without the help of technology to detect an injury, health incident or physical assault, rescuing a downed employee may take minutes, hours or even days to complete.
Regardless of whether you’re using the buddy system, manual check-in procedures or technology to monitor the safety of your lone workers, enabling the fastest emergency response possible to your team is key when an accident, injury or assault occurs.
To ensure help is reaching your lone workers,
- Check your health and safety regulator for recommendations
- Implement a strategy for emergency response
- Ensure your use of technology aligns with your new emergency response program
WINTER ELEMENTS AND RESPONSE TIMES
Inclement weather can negatively impact already unpredictable indoor, outdoor, driving and remote work conditions. To ensure your employees are up-to-speed, check out our tips for ensuring your teams are safe this winter, regardless of where they work. Download the guide “Winter is Coming—Are Your Safety Measures in Place?”
And, stay tuned for our next post, an emergency response Q&A with one of our executives.