No one wants it to happen, but an emergency, natural or manmade, can strike at anytime, 24/7. What’s more, it need not be a major, nationally-televised incident, such as a hurricane, earthquake, or act of political terror. An event as common as a local building fire can present just as large a challenge to you. These resources will help you create a plan for handling such crises, whatever their scope, and to carry it out in a way that best protects your employees and your company.
To cap off our National Preparedness Month coverage this week, check out our workplace emergency planning infographic below. We’ll see you on Monday with the launch of the new EHS Daily Advisor!
September is National Preparedness Month. This month, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is encouraging businesses and individuals to make a plan for staying safe during different types of emergencies. Today we’ll look at FEMA’s recommendations for facing a power outage.
September is National Preparedness Month. This month, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is encouraging businesses and individuals to make a plan for staying safe during different types of emergencies. Today we’ll look at how you can prepare your business to survive a hurricane.
September is National Preparedness Month. This month, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is encouraging businesses and individuals to make a plan for staying safe during different types of emergencies. Today we’ll look at how to prepare your business to survive a wildfire.
In the early morning hours of November 15, 2014, a shift supervisor at DuPont’s chemical plant in La Porte, Texas, called 911 to report that he might have as many as five casualties as the result of a deadly chemical release. He offered no details about what chemical had been released, or when, and denied that the chemical could have traveled off the plant site, even though no monitoring had been done.
Twenty-six-year-old Takita Mathieu worked as a leasing agent for Greenbriar Apartments in Houston, Texas. She was at work on February 19, 2015, when her ex-boyfriend, who had been harassing her by phone, walked into the leasing office and fatally shot her—and then shot himself in the head. Each year, there are nearly 400 stories like Mathieu’s, of employees who are murdered while at work. Nearly 2 million more workers suffer nonfatal assaults at work each year.
A series of storms raged across Mexico, Texas, and Oklahoma over Memorial Day weekend, 2015, killing as they went. Among the dead were some who were washed away by floodwaters, others who died in tornadoes, and at least three people who were working on post-storm cleanup. Is your workplace prepared for a natural disaster?
At 5:50 p.m. on May 9, 2015, a transformer exploded at the Indian Point nuclear power plant in Westchester, New York, 50 miles north of Manhattan. Sprinkler systems activated as emergency response crews scrambled, working to keep the fire from the nuclear installation just 200 yards away. The crews poured specially designed fire-fighting foam on the burning transformer. By 6:15, the fire was out, and crews began working instead on minimizing potential environmental damage from transformer fluid and fire-fighting foam leaking into the Hudson River.
After a large-scale disaster, workers often work longer shifts and more consecutive shifts than they would typically work. The fatigue and stress that may arise from strenuous work schedules can be compounded by the physical and environmental conditions in the affected area after a disaster: nonexistent, damaged, or limited critical infrastructure (roads/traffic signals, utility lines, transportation/distribution of basic necessities, etc.); vegetative, construction, and hazardous debris; flooding; hazardous material releases; and displaced pets, indigenous wild animals, and snakes or other reptiles.
Emergency workers who deploy to work at disaster sites caused by weather, earthquakes, epidemics, and other catastrophic events often put in much longer than 8-hour shifts. Although workers in these fields are generally highly committed to their jobs and find the jobs rewarding in ways that make long hours seem bearable, they are at substantially increased risk from fatigue.