Workplace safety is important at all times and employers should do everything possible to create a working environment where the risk of injury is minimized. Sometimes, however, an emergency situation will occur. Whether the emergency is caused by a weather disaster, a security risk or an act of violence, such as threats from a gunmen, employees need to be prepared to respond in a way that maximizes safety for all.Our Atlanta, workers’ compensation lawyers know that employers are in the best position to train workers to respond to an emergency. Entrepreneur has provided seven tips to help ensure that the risk of harm is minimized and employers should be aware of this advice and put it into action.
Tips to Keep Employees Safe in an Emergency
To reduce the risk of harm to employees in a dangerous situation, some things that employers should think about include the following:
- Recognize that violence or another emergency can come to any workplace. Most workers who have been through tragedy or acts of aggression by a gunmen indicate that they never thought it could happen where they work. The fact is that these types of incidents can happen anywhere.
- Awareness is essential. Criminals are most successful when they have the element of surprise working for them. Employees need to be on the lookout for suspicious behavior and encouraged to report when something seems wrong.
- Expert advice can be helpful. Law enforcement officials may provide courses for workers about how to respond to violence in the workplace, and private companies can both provide security and teach safety tips to employers and employees.
- There should be a plan in place. All employees need to be aware of what to do if there is a natural disaster, if a gunmen comes to the workplace or if some other major catastrophe happens. There should be a written plan of action in company policies and procedures, and employers should consult with their legal counsel to draft this plan.
- Drills can help make everyone even more prepared. It is not enough for employees to just read about the plan. Companies should organize a drill every six months or so, so everyone can practice what will happen if something goes wrong.
- Team leaders should be identified. Certain individuals can be designated in advance to serve as captains, take additional responsibilities in emergencies and help to coordinate everyone’s movements.
- Self-defense can help to save lives. Employers may wish to offer a safety course and a basic self-defense course to all employees. An employee who is trained in self defense can respond better to all different types of workplace violence in order to reduce the risk of serious injury or death.
Employers have an obligation to do everything they can to keep a workplace safe, and this means planning for potential risks that could come to their workers in an emergency situation. Workers who are hurt on the job because of workplace violence or as a result of a natural disaster could potentially make a workers’ compensation claim for their injuries, and so should be aware both of what to do before an injury happens and what their legal rights are if the worst occurs.
If you or a loved one has been injured on the job, contact J. Franklin Burns, P.C., to speak with an experienced attorney. For a free consultation call 1-404-303-7770 today.