Emergency Action Preparedness

Learn about what you should and shouldn't do during a workplace emergency.

Are you prepared for an evacuation?

In a workplace emergency you have to act quickly and effectively. So:

  • Know your workplace’s Emergency Action Plan, including how and to whom to report workplace emergencies.
  • Know where emergency alarms are located and how to use them.
  • Understand how to perform emergency duties you’ve been assigned.
  • Have at least two emergency exit routes—a primary route and an alternate route in case your primary route is blocked by fire or smoke.
  • Follow EXIT signs to evacuate safely.
  • Move swiftly, but don’t run.
  • Once outside, move away from the building and its exits so you don’t hamper emergency operations.
  • Know the location of your safe haven or refuge—the place you should escape to in the event of an emergency.
  • Report to the evacuation warden when you reach the safe haven.
  • Stay in the refuge until notified by the warden that it is safe to leave.

Also remember these important evacuation safety tips…

  • Recognize your limits; don’t be a hero.
  • Do your job and let others do theirs; everyone has specific jobs for which he or she has been trained.
  • Remain calm; help others only if you can do so without endangering yourself.

Back Care Checklist: How well do you take care of your back?

On average, 100 U.S. workers a day injure their backs on the job. Many more people hurt their backs working around the house and yard or in recreational activities. Most back injuries are painful. Some are permanently disabling. And once you’ve injured your back, there’s a good chance you could injure it again. But most problems are preventable if you take a few precautions.

Use this checklist to find out how well you take care of your back.

Do you:

  • Maintain a healthy weight that takes pressure off your back?
  • Exercise regularly to strengthen your back, stomach, and leg muscles?
  • Avoid sudden, sharp moves while working?
  • Do something relaxing every day to relieve stress?
  • Move your body as a single unit rather than twisting it?
  • Sleep on a firm mattress with your knees bent?
  • Always lift with your legs, not with your back?
  • Concentrate on maintaining your back’s natural curves with every task you perform on or off the job? How did you do? Did you answer Yes to each question? If not, you need to take better care of your back to avoid injury.