In any workplace, emergencies can happen. Human beings make mistakes, machines can malfunction, nature could play its hand and bring about an unexpected storm or earthquake. No matter how much we try to control our circumstances, it is essential to be prepared for what is outside of our control in the workplace. This is why it is important to have an OSHA emergency action plan. 

Having an action plan for employees across your business, in every position, is essential to keeping everyone safe and accounted for in case of an emergency. This involves proper emergency education and training for your workers, as well as the secure placement of emergency supplies like first aid and fire safety equipment. This article will go over some of the steps to a strong emergency action plan, including emergency preparation, response, and recovery. It will also highlight some helpful equipment and precautionary measures your business can invest in to keep your workplace safer and better prepared for unexpected dangers. 


Preparation and Mitigation

Two of the most pivotal steps in an emergency action plan are preparation and mitigation. These two steps are centered around trying to decrease the risk of an incident before it happens – and knowing the measures to take if something does go wrong. An OSHA emergency action plan will involve well-thought out evacuation routes and procedures, as well as a list of contacts for emergency situations and medical duties for employees on site who are able to perform them. Depending on the size of your business, these action plan steps may need added support from other preparation tools, but the small steps are essential tools for your emergency preparedness.  

One of the best ways to mitigate the risk of an emergency is to invest in the right safety equipment. If you are working in an industry where fire, chemical splash, or dangerous fumes are possible, consider purchasing industrial curtains to help reduce your risk of hazard. Industrial curtains are a great way to partition your space and prevent danger from spreading. Industrial curtains can be fire-proof, built to resist toxic chemicals, and can create a barrier to block dangerous fumes from spreading through the entire facility. In addition to other safety mitigation measures, industrial curtains are a great way to keep your workplace safe. 


Emergency Response

The ways in which you handle emergency response are also essential in your emergency action plan. The response step is centered around the immediate actions you take upon discovering you are in an emergency situation. These actions are focused on saving lives, preventing further spread of any danger such as fire or fumes, and guiding a safe evacuation to a previously established location.

Two vital pieces in your emergency response action plan for employees are establishing the location of your fire blankets and first aid equipment, and making sure your workers know how to use them. Fire and first aid blankets should be packaged in bright orange pouches, per OSHA emergency action plan safety requirements, and easy to access. These blankets are meant to help protect workers from fire hazards in case of emergency. Make sure you have an  appropriate number of blankets that your workers can easily grab and put on as they evacuate the building. 

When you are putting together your emergency response tools, it is important to have a safe and clean place to organize all of your equipment – such as a cleanroom complete with partitions and sterility measures. The right partitions can help create temperature control for the items that need it, as well as offer a fire-safe barrier so none of your essential equipment is destroyed in the emergency. 



The last of your essential emergency action steps is recovery. This step is, as the name suggests, focused on returning your workplace to its stasis. This involves cleanup and repairs around your workplace, but also recovery and healing for your employees. This final step in your emergency action plan seems fairly straightforward, but is actually very reliant on every step that comes before it. According to OSHA and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), about 40% of businesses affected by an emergency never reopen. Having the right recovery plan in place is going to ensure that your business can resume, even if it does take a little bit of time to rebuild. 

Recovery becomes a lot easier when the mitigation and preparation steps in your action plan for employees has been well thought-out and put to work. When you have the proper fire and chemical safety barriers in place, you can not only prevent a fire from spreading, but you can also keep your equipment safe and less susceptible to serious damage. The expenses of replacing your equipment after an emergency could be great. The better you prepare for an emergency, the lower your recovery costs are going to be. This is a great way to keep your chances of reopening high. 


Stay Safe with Singer Safety

Having a good emergency action plan is reliant on the steps you take to prepare your employees and your workplace from dangers. Anything can happen, so it is important to be ready. At Singer Safety, we are here to help you prepare for the unexpected. Our line of safety products like industrial curtains, safety screens, and fire-resistant blankets and partitions are made to protect your employees and your equipment. In the case of fire, we have fire-resistant equipment. In case of an earthquake, we have strong, reinforced screens that will keep your machinery from moving or crashing. Equipping your business with the right safety barriers is one of the best emergency action steps you can take for your employees and your physical workspace. We prepare for every possibility so you can worry less!