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Have a plan in place in case of a work accident

You might not think that your company is a dangerous place, but first responders and attorneys know that serious accidents can happen in any workplace at any time. In the event of a crisis, preparedness can make a huge difference for your staff.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration provides a detailed set of guidelines for creating an emergency action plan. This plan, along with training programs, can help managers and workers know how to take safe action during and after an accident.

The stakes are high

In a crisis, employees might suffer greater damage or be unable to access medical care if they do not know how to respond. Without a well-developed procedure, a court may hold employers at least partially liable if a hurt worker sues. There's also a chance that OSHA may enforce disciplinary actions.

There's no reason to leave your company vulnerable to litigation. At any size, Illinois businesses can add protection for workers as well as the company with a good emergency action plan. Don't forget that a written plan does little good unless training and implementation accompanies it.

How to develop the right plan

Each line of work produces its own unique hazards to workers. Industry risks can vary widely between burn hazards, chemical and dust exposure, falling, and machine operation. As a result, emergency plans must address the most likely accidents for the field in addition to standard evacuation, weather and fire plans.

An effective plan should address the following:

  • How workers can avoid hazards, including available protective equipment
  • Communication methods in the event of a crisis
  • Who is responsible for immediate medical contact or treatment
  • Where to find nearby first aid tools
  • Containment of threats, such as turning off machinery or removing toxic substances
  • How to access an employee's emergency contact and health information
  • Steps necessary to resume operations when appropriate
  • Reporting accidents
  • Crisis response employee training programs

For a strong emergency plan, employers may want help to conduct a thorough review of their existing plan or proposal. A professional evaluation can point out gaps where the plan may need more detail and make sure that the company meets state and federal safety regulations.

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