Emergency Evacuations


A wide variety of emergencies, both man-made and natural, may require a workplace to be evacuated. These emergencies include fires, explosions, floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, toxic material releases, radiological and biological accidents, civil disturbances, and workplace violence. Employers will want their employees to respond differently to these different threats. Therefore, it is critical that employers develop emergency evacuation procedures that address:

  • Whether and when employees should stay behind or evacuate;
  • Emergency exit routes and floor plans;
  • Employee evacuation training;
  • Assisting disabled employees, non-English-speaking employees, and visitors;
  • Conducting an orderly evacuation;
  • Critical functions to be performed by employees who remain behind; and
  • How to account for employees once evacuation is completed.

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