Warehouses are relatively dangerous premises and are prone to hazardous situations the workers have to tackle each day. The safety norms must be followed in every warehouse, including providing personal protection equipment (PPE) to the workers. Under the workplace safety rules, it is mandatory for warehouses to have an appropriate Emergency Planning committee that will be duly trained by professionals to handle any uncalled-for situations in the warehouses and evacuate everyone safely.
The Emergency Planning committee’s responsibility is to look after risk management and develop, maintain, and implement all the important factors of emergency planning. Warehouses, like other workplaces, provide Emergency Training to their employees, so they know what exactly to do if stuck in any hazardous or risky situation.
The training is given to EPCs and ECOs where they are made to understand their roles and responsibilities. The EPCs and ECOs have very significant roles to play; they are the only acting team until any professional help arrives in case of emergencies. They are trained well enough to solely control any small or not so hazardous situations; however, if things get intense, they may require help.
Roles and Responsibilities
The training so given to the employees is decided after analyzing your warehouse and its risks. Detailed information is shared with employees on the responsibilities they carry while being in the EPC and ECO. They have to conduct risk assessments and assist the employers with implementing and installing any required safety equipment.
They have to ensure that good quality, durable safety, and protection kits are available to each worker in their respective field of work. The protection could be eye gears, gloves, high boots, chemical resistant body suits, masks, etc.
Each person who undergoes training follows the training routine that consists of real-time drills, which helps the workers and leader to understand their role. They are provided first aid training to ensure that the workers know basic aid to help each other in times of need in case of any emergency.
Emergency Plans and Procedures include proper evacuation plans; The trainers sit along with EPCs and ECOs to make a designated evacuation route keeping in view different risks that the warehouse is prone to. The risk varies depending on the working condition of the warehouse, the location, environment, climate, and others. Some warehouses may be prone to Floods while others may not be.
The trainers use risks to plan the evacuation routes, also mentioning the risk factor involved in each evacuation route if two emergencies simultaneously arise.
Safety of material and workers
It is a mandate to have safety equipment available and installed as per the risks that are assumed. For example- If the warehouse is prone to floods, it should keep the electric wires much above the ground level, the sockets, any electrical or damageable goods like files should have a safe space from the ground.
Similarly, chemical factories should have adequate ventilation to let the airflow and not accumulate the chemicals. It has been reported many times that lack of proper ventilation causes many hazardous situations in the warehouses.
In case of fire, fire suppression systems like sprinklers, fire doors, extinguishers should be installed. The extinguishers should be available for each fire level and should be accessible easily by all the people.
Who to contact?
Given that safe evacuation first is EPC’s responsibility, a major point covered in warehouse training includes letting the representatives understand the situation’s depth and inform the designated department. They have to ensure that regular training is given to workers for every potential risk. They conduct drills to keep the workers mentally strong and ready if there ever is an emergency.
Such training is provided by many professional service providers like in Australia; Workplace Emergency Management company has been in the business for over 15 years giving training to different offices, companies, and warehouses for managing emergencies.
Emergency training is essential in warehouses because the amount of risk the workers work under is very high. The chemical warehouses experience leakages which cause serious health problems to workers and sometimes to locals. It mainly happens because of the lack of proper ventilation and lack of training to workers about how to operate the machinery at different temperatures.
Awareness about potential hazards or accidents in the workplace is suggested as it helps the employees to stay alert while working and keep an eye on any signs that may appear before the risk. Employees communicating about any emerging risk can save a lot of damage and injuries from occurring. Ensure that you provide emergency training to your employees and if you are an employee, make sure the boss is providing all the required training and safety equipment to his workers.