Is Your Workplace Prepared to Handle Emergencies?

CATEGORIES: Workplace Safety

Is your workplace prepared for a terrorist attack? What about sudden fires – are you capable enough to deal with them? What if someone is at the edge of mortality in the other room? What will you do then?

It is easy to brush off these questions as hyperboles, but you know just as much as we do that the world is becoming increasingly uncertain. Tensions fly high in the workplace when the unstoppable train of productivity goes at top speed. And suppose some emergency arrives and this train stops in its tracks. In that case, your decisiveness and your preparedness decide the fate of your business. 

However, these are all shallow terms if you don’t know what a workplace emergency is. 

Defining a Workplace Emergency

Simply put, a workplace emergency is any unforeseen and extenuating circumstance that threatens the infrastructure of your business or the life of your employees or customers, or both. It is hard to properly categorize what constitutes an emergency in this post-pandemic age. But, here are some points that everyone agrees on. 

  • Natural disasters: Natural disasters are the most common form of a workplace emergency. It can be a flood, earthquake, tornado, hurricane, or another severe weather event threatening life and property.
  • Workplace accidents: These accidents depend upon the type of business you run. For instance, chemical spills and explosions are risk factors in factories. On the other hand, fires due to gas leaks or faulty wiring can happen in all types of businesses. 
  • External events: The world is currently going through all kinds of tumultuous events. In light of this, we can’t discredit a terrorist attack, civil unrest, or an active shooter from being a workplace emergency. 

Signs that say that you need a workplace emergency plan in place

“I am always prepared” and “It won’t happen at our workplace” are two of the most common answers people give when asked about their preparedness. Although their confidence is admirable, it doesn’t hurt to double-check. Here are the signs that scream that you need a new emergency plan in place.

  1. There is only one exit at your workplace: Budget constraints might have made it impossible for you to have a large office space with multiple doors. In such cases, you need to work with what you have to devise an emergency plan. 
  2. You live in a volatile area: If you live in an area prone to riots, you must put preparedness at the forefront and devise a plan. 
  3. The weather conditions in your region are not always optimal: Canada has encountered 17 tornadoes in the last two months (May and June 2022) alone. While most of their occurrences happened near Ontario, Regina, and the Oshawa region, the quantity attests to the fact that these will only increase. If your workplace is in one of these tornado-centered regions, you’d need an action plan to keep your workforce and property safe. 

Checklist to Handle Emergencies in the Workplace

Here are the points to tick off in the checklist so that you can handle any kind of emergency in your workplace. 

Implement a working alerting system

The market has seen an influx of alerting systems in recent years. They are customizable and reliable and provide more than enough functionalities to keep your organization safe. Pick one that’s the most suitable for your workplace. 

The second part of an alerting system is that it must work. Its emergency communication module is what you’ll get the most out of. Such a system will ensure that your employees are all on the same page when disaster strikes. 

And thirdly, you must focus on implementing a system that doesn’t just raise the alarm but also provides instructions. As your workers know what they must do, it will keep them calm. 

An alerting system should focus on putting your employees on the same page, not creating panic. 

Pick a Leader

In emergency situations, you need someone who can react calmly yet quickly to keep everyone safe. You need someone headstrong that also commands respect. 

What is also important, however, is their training. Trained individuals understand the protocol to follow during disastrous situations, and their knowledge of evacuation procedures will save many lives. 

Make sure that the first aid kit and emergency equipment are within reach

Placement of the emergency equipment and first aid kit is most important. Knowing the fire extinguisher’s location would help you react quickly during sudden fires. And when it comes to earthquakes, knowing the location of the first-aid kits would help keep people mobile when injured. 

Knowing how to react is also important. Your workforce should go through emergency drills to always have an idea of what to do. Operating the emergency equipment without the know-how would do more harm than good. 

Make sure that everyone knows about the emergency exits

Emergency exits are a crucial part of the emergency plan. They facilitate escape from disastrous situations. However, they only work if people are aware of their locations. There have been cases where offices tend to not discuss the exits during orientation – believing disasters to be a far-fetched thought. 

Doing so can put your worker’s life in peril. Therefore, all your employees must know about the location of the emergency exits. Drill into their heads that they must head for an emergency exit when there is a workplace emergency. 

Have a professional create an emergency plan

An emergency plan is not something created on a whim. It is a question of people’s lives. Therefore, “googling it” just won’t do. You need the aid of professionals to devise a robust emergency plan that everyone can understand and follow. 

Global Hazmat can help you create a compliant plan that adheres to the regulatory standards of Canada. 

Having an emergency plan in place will help you design emergency drills for your workplace and give you an idea about who to pick as a leader. 



The times we live in make it crucial to have a workplace emergency plan. The more prepared you are, the better off your employees will be. 

Looking to devise a bulletproof emergency plan? Contact Global Hazmat. We are compliance trainers and consultants that will help you safeguard your organization from all disasters, natural or otherwise.