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At Work

Tips for a Safer Workplace | What to Do in an Emergency

Tips for a Safer Workplace

Here are some tips to help make your workplace safer:

  • familiarize youself with your workplace's fire safety plan and evacuation procedure--all employees should know that plan and be required to drill regularly
  • know the location of two exits closest to your work area
  • keep exits, stairways, and halls clear
  • minimize clutter, particularly combustibles such as empty cardboard boxes
  • keep flammable liquid storage to a minimum and store only in approved containers away from heat sources
  • make provisions for evacuating employees with disabilities by assigning a partner to assist them
  • know the location of the nearest fire alarm pull station and how to use it
  • always turn off or unplug appliances at the end of each day.
  • make sure suitable fire extinguishers are placed in accessible areas throught the building and that all workers know how to use them
  • check and replace any electrical cords that have cracked insulation or broken connectors
  • never overload outlets or extension cords
  • never run extension cords across doorways or under rugs
  • keep all appliances a safe distance from combustible materials.
  • use only UL Listed tools and appliances
  • leave enough space for the circulation of air around heaters and other equipment such as computer terminals and copy machines
  • smoke only in areas allowed

What to Do in An Emergency

  • go to the nearest exit and close all doors behind you
  • never fight a fire if the fire is large or spreading quickly
  • if you encounter smoke, consider taking an alternate stairwell/exit; heat and smoke rise leaving cleaner air near the floor; crawl low under smoke
  • call 911 immediately regardless of the size of the fire
  • once outside, do not re-enter building until fire fighter personnel tell you it's OK

For more information, visit the "Emergency Preparedness and Response" section of the OSHA website.