Be Pre­pared: Work­place readi­ness in case of emer­gency

DEMM Engineering & Manufacturing - - HEALTH & SAFETY -

The ideal work­place, es­pe­cially in the en­gi­neer­ing in­dus­try, is one that is ac­ci­dent­free. Un­for­tu­nately, noth­ing is ever truly ideal, says Alsco New Zealand, which has long been a top provider of com­mer­cial and safety needs in this coun­try. The next best op­tion is to be bet­ter pre­pared to han­dle any con­tin­gency and emer­gency, says Alsco, which not only en­sures that you’re com­pli­ant with strin­gent safety pre­cau­tions but, more im­por­tantly, you also pro­tect your em­ploy­ees from harm.

The com­pany of­fers a look at the most com­mon emer­gen­cies that any work­place faces and how to best pre­pare for them. These are, says Alsco, guar­an­teed to ad­dress nearly all an of­fice’s safety needs and with these so­lu­tions within arm’s length, you need never worry about work­place readi­ness ever again.


This might be a silly prob­lem to worry about. Usu­ally, when this hap­pens to some­one, ev­ery­one has good laugh. But that’s usu­ally with some­thing light and es­sen­tially harm­less. No one will still be laugh­ing when we’re talk­ing about siz­able ob­jects and greater risks of per­ma­nent harm.

In fact, with the right heft and force, any fall­ing ob­ject has the po­ten­tial to ad­dle your brain or even crack your cra­nium. Need­less to say, the l ong- term phys­i­cal, phys­i­o­log­i­cal, and even psy­cho­log­i­cal dam­age can be chill­ing, to say the l east. And i t all usu­ally boils down to some­thing as sim­ple as not be­ing thor­oughly care­ful.

Most of­ten, it is light fix­tures that pose the great­est risk in this re­gard. Equally threat­en­ing are heavy ob­jects placed on high ledges or shelves. These un­se­cured ob­jects are eas­ily af­fected by many fac­tors and so will al­ways have the po­ten­tial to hurt.

One first step so­lu­tion would be to re­or­gan­ise the items stored to place heav­ier ob­jects well be­low head height.

On the side of mit­i­ga­tion when some­thing has al­ready hap­pened, a good in­vest­ment would be in fully- man­aged First Aid sys­tems. These usu­ally come in the form of eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble First Aid cab­i­nets matched with proper train­ing in their use. All of this means that any­one across the of­fice space will be ready to re­spond to any con­tin­gency and emer­gency speed­ily.


Among the most po­ten­tially dam­ag­ing of work­place mishaps, fires can be the cause of great loss of prop­erty as well as loss of life. As such, the pos­si­bil­ity can’t ever be taken lightly.

Gen­er­ally, there is a wide range of fac­tors that can cause fire. First among these would be neg­li­gence. Yes, some­times fires are caused by peo­ple who can’t be both­ered to be care­ful when deal­ing with flam­ma­bles.

Other causes are more in­sid­i­ous and dif­fi­cult to de­tect. Faulty elec­tri­cal wiring is an­other cause that can hit you and your busi­ness when you least ex­pect it. These fires can strike at any time, caus­ing mas­sive amounts of dam­age be­fore be­ing put out. Fire haz­ards and risks are even more com­mon for those who run restau­rants with large kitchens.

A great cau­tion­ary mea­sure to avoid fire risks is to have your elec­tri­cal wiring checked con­stantly. This is es­pe­cially true if the build­ing you oc­cupy is kind of old and just rented out. Com­pla­cency in this mat­ter puts too many lives at risks so the cost to bear is ac­tu­ally very worth it.

Should a fire al­ready be in progress, it is paramount to shut off all power to the build­ing. After or con­cur­rent to that, make sure that evac­u­a­tions are con­ducted in a calm, timely man­ner. It also helps to have re­li­able and log­i­cally or­gan­ised emer­gency Re­sponse Sys­tems set up. These should con­tain ev­ery­thing that you will need to re­spond to the cri­sis at hand: res­cue and wreck­ing equip­ment, sup­plies for warmth, hy­dra­tion, and even ra­dios for quick com­mu­ni­ca­tions.

Health Crises

Due to the di­verse range of ages in the work­place, health crises are sur­pris­ingly more com­mon than you might think. These can range from phys­i­cal in­jury from trips and slips to more se­ri­ous prob­lems like car­diac ar­rest. These can hap­pen at any time, when least ex­pected, and can pose trou­ble when not han­dled prop­erly.

Be­ing un­pre­pared to deal with these kinds of emer­gen­cies can pose prob­lems for your com­pany. For one thing, no one wants to be held re­spon­si­ble for the in­jury of one of their em­ploy­ees. For an­other thing, the li­a­bil­ity pay­outs are far greater than what you would spend to be pre­pared.

The first step to­wards pre­pared­ness is to have the right sys­tems in place to cover any pos­si­ble emer­gency. A man­aged first aid kit can pro­vide medicine and treat­ments for a wider range of com­mon work­place crises.


We’ve all seen CPR at work on many TV shows and in movies. From the look of it, it seems like an easy, mag­i­cal catch-all re­sponse to any num­ber of emer­gen­cies. Heck, it even re­vives those whose hearts have stopped beat­ing.

If you sub­scribe to any of those be­liefs, then you and your com­pany def­i­nitely need the train­ing. Im­prop­erly con­ducted CPR can cause more harm than good – in the form of com­pressed ribs or even out­right break­age. The sim­ple truth is that CPR is a cru­cial mit­i­gat­ing ac­tion, but isn’t a full so­lu­tion to an emer­gency sit­u­a­tion.

You use CPR in cases where a per­son has dif­fi­culty breath­ing or their heart stops work­ing prop­erly – of­ten as a con­se­quence of a heart at­tack. Re­mem­ber that the CP in CPR stands for car­diopul­monary, which means that it’s a mea­sure to as­sist in heart and lung func­tion­al­ity.

The im­por­tance of this ini­tial mea­sure is firmly un­der­scored as sta­tis­tics show that the sur­vival odds of any­one suf­fer­ing from car­diac ar­rest out­side a hospi­tal shoots up by twice what it nor­mally would be were CPR not per­formed. Again, though, the key is proper, ef­fec­tive train­ing.


If no one knows how to use those fancy first aid kits and the emer­gency equip­ment you’ve in­vested in, they’re go­ing to be pretty use­less in an emer­gency. Same thing goes with emer­gency mea­sures like CPR – you’ll only do more harm than good if you try it out dur­ing an emer­gency.

While it’s al­ways best to have ev­ery­one un­dergo train­ing, a min­i­mum of two per given shift is enough to pro­vide pro­tec­tion against any emer­gency. Make sure you con­stantly re­in­force that train­ing with even more ses­sions as un­used knowl­edge can eas­ily fade and be for­got­ten as time passes.


Be­fore you start in­vest­ing in and sched­ul­ing all of these, there are a few things that you need to con­sider in order to de­ter­mine what kind of equip­ment and train­ing pro­grams you need to have. Here are the most crit­i­cal points to pon­der:

How big is your com­pany?

For com­pa­nies with less than 50 peo­ple, you only need to train 2-3 peo­ple per shift if that’s ap­pli­ca­ble. You can make do with a first aid cabi­net or two strate­gi­cally placed around your of­fice.

What type of busi­ness are you?

There are al­ways go­ing to be some in­dus­tries that are far riskier than oth­ers. Those in in­dus­trial man­u­fac­tur­ing and the like are at a higher risk than, say, those that op­er­ate out of a comfy of­fice. As a good rule of thumb, higher risk busi­ness should in­vest in higher grade first aid.

How ac­ces­si­ble are med­i­cal ser­vices to your busi­ness?

Noth­ing can ever be a true sub­sti­tute for pro­fes­sional med­i­cal ser­vices. If you’re closer to, say, a hospi­tal or clinic, then you can af­ford to ease up some­what on the train­ing and in­vest­ments. That’s not to say you shouldn’t in­vest at all, as the cal­i­bre of first re­sponse is of­ten di­rectly re­lated to the sur­viv­abil­ity of a sit­u­a­tion.

Con­sider sick or va­ca­tion days.

Lastly, when or­gan­is­ing your first aider team, it’s very im­por­tant to fac­tor in their po­ten­tial ab­sences due to sick­ness or even just the nor­mal off time va­ca­tion­ing. Make sure to never leave the of­fice un­watched by at least one first aider in order to make sure ev­ery­one stays safe.

Pre­pared­ness be­gins with the right in­vest­ments from the getgo. You need to equip your of­fice and ev­ery­one in it with the right tools and prod­ucts tai­lored to suit your work­place needs specif­i­cally as well as the right train­ing to have your of­fice pre­pared for any even­tu­al­ity. DE­TAILS, WWW.ALSCO.CO.NZ OR 0800 4 ALSCO

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