Emergency Planning for Small Businesses

Safety in the workplace is a top priority for most employers, especially for organizations that manufacture, transport, or store chemical products.  Large corporations typically have personnel whose jobs are dedicated to safety issues such as preparing for chemical spills and other accidents in the workplace.  Small employers; however, may not have the budget to hire a full time safety manager but they can still take steps to promote safety and mitigate property damage and injuries if a chemical spill occurs on their property.

  1. Choose a safety leader: Designating an employee to oversee safety and emergency issues will reduce confusion and cut response time when there is a spill.  This person doesn’t have to give up their other duties and handle safety alone; they can work with other employees to come up with emergency plans and procedures for when an emergency arises.
  1. Have the gear: Fire extinguishers are required to be present in every type of business but depending on the hazards present, additional resources could be a good investment. If your company stores chemical products or fuels, having spill containment material could reduce the cleanup costs after a spill by thousands of dollars.  The amount of material needed to contain a spill will depend on how much and what type of a chemicals are kept on site.
  1. Train your first responders: Paramedics, police and fire fighters are often referred to as first responders but during workplace accidents the first people on scene are the employees. Simply informing employees on the location of fire extinguishers and spill containment supplies isn’t enough.  Employees should be aware of how to use emergency equipment and how to recognize when a situation is too dangerous to handle themselves.
  1. Know who to call: Most people’s first thought during an emergency is to call 911 but in situations where chemicals are being release it may be necessary to notify a HazMat response team as well. Make sure that employees are aware of who to call after an accident and post emergency contact info to avoid confusion and response delays.
  1. Vet your response team carefully: Choosing an emergency contractor isn’t something to take lightly. Calling on a contractor who claims to do that kind of work isn’t enough. Most do not have the knowledge or equipment to handle a chemical spill at your workplace and could mean wasted time, lost money and possibly fines from regulatory agencies. Check their references and see who they have contracts with.

At Protect Environmental we take pride in helping our clients by doing the job right the first time.  We help them understand their legal obligations as the responsible party for chemical spills and we keep them in compliance with Federal and State regulations.  Many businesses have relied on Protect time and again for over two decades because we offer them a comprehensive customer service experience.  We invite you to contact our office and find out more about how Protect can help your company cope with chemical and bio-hazard emergencies.

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