OSHA Emergency Preparedness 2014

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1 OSHA Emergency Preparedness 2014 Introduction Emergencies in the workplace are a common occurrence. They range from small incidents to large scale events. Your role in an emergency situation is vital - whether it s preventing the spread of fire, alerting others to evacuate, keeping yourself and others safe during a violent situation, or responding to and reporting an incident to emergency personnel. Whether your goal is to minimize injuries, help save lives, or prevent damage to your work facility, you must be prepared to think clearly and act effectively in a variety of emergency situations. Overview This course is designed for general audiences. The goal of this course is to provide information that helps increase employee awareness and knowledge of various emergency situations to promote effective response practices. Course Objectives At the completion of this program, participants should be able to: Identify risk factors that lead to an emergency situation Implement proper safety and prevention practices Report emergencies promptly to proper authorities Respond to various emergency situations in an effective manner General OSHA Standards The General Duty Clause, Section 5(a)(1) of the OSH A Act, requires that employers "furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees". This clause also requires that employers "comply with occupational safety and health standards promulgated under this Act". OSHA Standards for Responders First Responders (Fire Fighters, Police Officers, and Emergency Medical Technicians), must comply with the Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response standard, 29 CFR (q). This standard requires entities engaged in emergency response to provide appropriate training to their workers; to use an incident command system; to develop a written response plan that includes personnel roles, lines of authority and communication, site security and control, medical and emergency alert procedures; and to provide workers with appropriate protective equipment. Emergency Preparedness Many of the preparations that are made in the workplace for emergencies are required by OSHA. For example: Your facility is responsible for ensuring that you know what to do in an emergency and how to evacuate if an emergency occurs Your facility must be equipped with appropriate alarm systems to inform staff, patients, and visitors about emergencies Your facility must provide you with the means to protect yourself from emergency hazards You must be trained in appropriate emergency response procedures Your facility must be in compliance with regulations that require emergency and fire prevention

2 Plans OSHA also requires your facility to have a written plan and it must be explained to you. Are you familiar with your facility s emergency and fire prevention plans? Identifying Hazards In an emergency, you may only have a few seconds to act. Whether it s a fire, natural disaster, or some other crisis, you must be prepared to move quickly and effectively to protect your safety and the safety of others. That s why it s important that you know how to respond to an emergency now. Don t wait for an emergency. Ask questions now. Prepare yourself to act effectively. Review all the steps you will have to take and realize that you might need to act under very bad conditions, such as thick smoke, heat, and little or no light to guide you. Drills and emergency simulations will help prepare you for the real thing. Be sure to participate in these exercises so that procedures remain fresh in your mind. Never ignore the alarm because you think it s just a drill. Familiarize yourself with the details of your facility s emergency plans, and get to know the emergency coordinators for your department or work group. Always keep emergency exits clear so that everyone will be able to get out quickly and safely should an evacuation be necessary. Are You Prepared? A host of emergency situations can occur at any moment, and it is important that you are prepared to deal with any given situation. Possible emergencies that occur are: Biological Attack Bioterrorism Chemical Terrorism Fire and Explosion Natural Disasters Radiation Terrorism Workplace Violence Do you know exactly what to do in any of these emergencies? Let s explore these situations in detail. Biological Attack Biological attack is one of the greatest terrorist threats we face. A biological attack is the deliberate release of germs or other biological substances that can make you sick. Many agents must be inhaled, enter through a cut in the skin, or be eaten to make you sick. Some biological agents, such as anthrax, do not cause contagious diseases, while others, like the smallpox virus, can result in diseases you can catch from other people. Bioterrorism Bioterrorism is the intentional use of micro-organisms to bring about ill effects or death to humans, livestock, or crops. Bioterrorism is an attractive weapon because biological agents are relatively easy and inexpensive to obtain or produce, can be easily disseminated, and can cause widespread fear and panic beyond the actual physical damage they can cause. Chemical Terrorism Chemical terrorism is terrorism using chemical agents. Chemical agents are poisonous gases, liquids, or

3 solids that have toxic effects on people, animals, or plants. Most chemical agents are capable of causing serious injuries or death. The severity of injuries depends on the type and amount of the chemical agent used, and the duration of exposure. Fire and Explosion Fire is the third leading cause of accidental death in the United States - that s why fire safety is everyone s responsibility. Most fire incidents are preventable. Fires or explosions created by arson or an explosive device are the quickest way for a terrorist to affect a targeted business. A terrorist's explosive device or act of arson are not workplace fire hazards or ignition sources that OSHA expects an employer to reasonably identify and attempt to control, however, an effective fire prevention plan that includes these fire hazards or ignition sources may increase workplace safety and security, and ensure that employees know how to respond to threats and incidents safely and effectively. Natural Disasters A natural disaster is the result of a sudden dramatic event in nature that has a negative effect on people or the environment. Most natural disasters consist of: Avalanches Blizzards Drought Earthquakes Floods Hailstorms Heatwaves Hurricanes Lahars Lightning Limnic Eruptions Tornadoes Tsunamis Solar Flares Volcano Eruptions Wildfires Many of these disasters are related. For example, earthquakes can cause tsunamis. Radiation Radiation may be defined as energy traveling through space. Non-ionizing radiation is essential to life, but excessive exposures will cause tissue damage. All forms of ionizing radiation have sufficient energy to ionize atoms that may destabilize molecules within cells and lead to tissue damage. Radiation sources are found in a wide range of occupational settings. If radiation is not properly controlled it can be potentially hazardous to the health of workers. Terrorism Terrorism is a highly psychological act of violence. The number one goal of terrorists and terrorist organizations is to invoke fear and instability in the consciousness of mass numbers of people. Like natural disasters, a terrorist attack can occur at any time - without warning. Terrorism covers a wide range of threats from cyberterrorism, hand guns and explosives, to chemical and biological weapons. Protecting yourself from every imaginable threat is nearly impossible, but knowing how to respond

4 should an event occur can save lives. Workplace Violence Workplace violence is any act in which a person is abused, threatened, intimidated, harassed, or assaulted in his or her employment. Workplace violence can begin as small incidents involving negative remarks and inappropriate behavior and escalate to physical or psychological violence. Its most extreme form, homicide, is the fourth-leading cause of fatal occupational injury in the United States. It is much easier to prevent violence by stopping small incidents than by trying to deal with the aftermath of a major crisis. Managing an Emergency Do you know how to manage an emergency situation? You should at least know: T he location of alarm boxes in and around your facility and how to activate them Who to call during an emergency What key information to report about the situation to emergency personnel Know Your Role It is also important that you understand (and are comfortable with) any emergency responsibilities that you have been assigned. Only handle emergency tasks that you have been assigned to and are trained to properly manage. Only properly trained and equipped personnel should handle duties such as: Firefighting Chemical release or hazardous waste cleanup Biohazard materials incidents Shutting down power and other systems and equipment Patient evacuations Know Your Limitations Make sure you understand exactly what is expected of you. If there is anything about an emergency assignment that you do not fully understand, ask your supervisor to explain it to you. Fulfill your emergency assignments only if you can do so safely. For example, don t return to a burning building (or risk your life) in an attempt to save others. That s the responsibility of professionally trained and equipped emergency personnel - like a firefighter who handles lifethreatening situations on a frequent basis. Local Emergency Action Plan It is important that your office implements a local emergency action plan. An emergency action plan provides employees with an expected plan of action to best address potential emergencies that can be expected in your work area. For emergency evacuation, the use of floor plans or workplace maps that clearly show the emergency escape routes and safe or refuge areas should be included in the plan. All employees must understand what actions they are to take in the work area and where they must assemble in a designated safe zone away from the burning building. All new employees should be given direction on how they must respond to emergencies perhaps as a part of their orientation while they transition into their new position. This plan should include: Identifying the individuals responsible for various aspects of the plan (chain of command) so that in an emergency confusion will be minimized and employees will have no doubt about who has authority for making decisions.

5 Identifying the method of communication that will be used to alert employees that an evacuation or some other action is required; as well as, how employees can report emergencies (such as manual pull stations, public address systems, or telephones). Identifying the evacuation routes from the building and locations where employees will gather. Fire Extinguishers If you ve received proper training, use a portable fire extinguisher in an emergency to control a small fire. Controlling a small fire could clear an exit passage, thus allowing you and others to evacuate. Proper use of a fire extinguisher could also end the threat of a major fire altogether. PASS To use a fire extinguisher, remember the word PASS. P-Pull the pin to activate. A-Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire. S-Squeeze the handle to activate. S-Sweep from side to side. Fire Extinguisher Categories There are three primary categories of fire extinguishing equipment: 1. Portable Fire Extinguisher 2. Fire Hose 3. Fire Suppression (Sprinkler) System Proper fire extinguishers must be supplied for any workplace location and placed in areas that allow for easy access. Employees must know how to use (and where to locate) fire extinguishers in the work area. Fire protection equipment must be inspected frequently and repaired or replaced if not fully functional. Preparing Patients for an Emergency Evacuation As a medical professional, if you have been assigned and trained to evacuate patients in an emergency, there are several things you need to know. Make sure you are aware of the patient s condition. Before moving the patient, you need to know: Their medical and psychological condition If they are able to move without assistance If they are able to understand the emergency situation and are able to follow instructions If they need any special equipment, such as oxygen or IV s You must also know specific patient removal procedures, such as: Using lifting devices, transfer belts, blankets, wheelchairs, and other aids to move patients Using special techniques for lifting and carrying patients to safety Finally, you must know where safe areas are located either inside or outside of the facility where you can take patients during an emergency. Deciding When to Evacuate When the decision is made to evacuate a building or an entire facility due to a fire, bomb threat, or an existing situation, extreme care must be taken not to cause panic among employees, patients, and customers. If people begin to panic, the potential for serious personal injury and property damage increases. It is important that all persons maintain self-discipline, evacuate the facility in a calm manner, and proceed to an area where they will not be at risk. Personnel should never run or rush in the stairwells.

6 Crowd panic can turn a minor emergency into a deadly situation. Evacuating The following procedures are suggested: Do not use the elevators. If there is a problem, riders may become trapped. Also, elevators should be available for emergency personnel. Floors should be equipped with regulation EXIT doors, signs, emergency lighting systems, and posted floor evacuation plans. Trained and designated floor wardens should manage the evacuation efforts. Employees should also be trained beforehand regarding the location of their primary and secondary EXIT routes. When announcing an evacuation, use "soft" words. For example, it would be better to state, "We have a possible issue in the building and would like to ask you to leave your work area for a few minutes while the situation is further evaluated", than it would be to announce, "There is a bomb in the building, so please evacuate quickly." The behavior of management will set the tone. Notify employees and customers in a manner that will not incite panic, and be sure to check for persons in restrooms, storage rooms, the basement, parking areas, etc. Evacuated employees should assemble away from the facility, and a head count needs to be conducted to account for all personnel. Accomplishing this important task involves preplanning. When leaving the building, employees should be alert for emergency equipment that may be arriving at the location. Leave the doors to the building unlocked, and monitor the area to ensure that people do not approach or enter the building until the situation has been resolved. Wait for assistance from the public authorities, and re-enter the building only upon their direction. Shelter-in-Place Chemical, biological, or radiological contaminants may be released into the environment in such quantity and/or proximity to a place of business that it is safer to remain indoors rather than to evacuate employees. Such releases may either be accidental or intentional. The decision to "shelterinplace" may be due to an explosion in an ammonia refrigeration facility across from your building, or a derailed and leaking tank car of chlorine on the rail line behind your office. "Shelter-in-place" means selecting an interior room (or rooms) within your facility, or ones with no or few windows, and taking refuge there. In most cases, local authorities communicate to shelter-in-place locations via television or radio broadcast. Summary Fires, chemicals, biohazards, natural disasters, and violence can be the cause of emergency situations in the workplace. In an emergency, you may only have a few seconds to act, that s why it s important that you know how to respond to an emergency now. Take time to familiarize yourself with your facilities evacuation routes, emergency plans and procedures, and know your role in the event of an emergency. If you are unfamiliar with your tasks or the procedures you are to follow in an emergency, consult with your supervisor immediately. Don t wait for an emergency to occur. Remember: Don t wait for an emergency. Ask questions now. Prepare yourself to act effectively. Review all the steps you will have to take and realize that you might need to act under very bad conditions, such as thick smoke, heat, and little or no light to guide you.

7 Drills and emergency simulations will help prepare you for the real thing. Be sure to participate in these exercises so that procedures remain fresh in your mind. Never ignore the alarm because you think it s just a drill. Familiarize yourself with the details of your facility s emergency plans, and get to know the emergency coordinators for your department or work group. Always keep emergency exits clear so that everyone will be able to get out quickly and safely should an evacuation be necessary. Take the Exam Thank you for joining us for this course on OSHA Emergency Preparedness. Please see below to take the final test and assess your learning.

8 Emergency Preparedness ~ 2014 TEST 1. According to the General Duty Clause of the OSHA Act, employers are required furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free rom recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees. 2. OSHA requires that your facility have a and it must be explained to you. a. 2 way radio system b. Satellite phone c. Written plan d. Map 3. Participating in drills and emergency simulations are only the responsibility of first responders (Fire Fighters, Police Officers, and Emergency Medical Technicians). 4. A is the deliberate release of germs or other biological substances that can make you sick. a. Biological attack b. Chemical attack c. Radiological attack d. Natural disaster 5. Receiving a verbal threat in the workplace is considered an act of workplace violence:

9 6. To use a fire extinguisher, remember the word. a. PACE b. PAIR c. PALE d. PASS 7. If you are a medical professional that is currently employed at a specific medical facility, you are allowed to transfer patients during an emergency situation. 8. Before moving a patient, due to an emergency situation, you need to know all of the following except: a. Their medical and psychological condition b. If they are able to move without assistance c. If they are able to understand the emergency situation and are able to follow instructions d. If they need any personal items, like deodorant, make-up, or other toiletries e. If they need any special equipment, such as oxygen of IV s 9. Trained and designated should manage the evacuation efforts: a. Supervisors b. Office assistants c. Floor wardens d. Building security guard officers 10. If an explosion in an ammonia refrigeration facility across from your building, or a derailed and leaking tank car of chlorine on the rail line behind your office occurred, it is best to evacuate your facility immediately.

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