Take 5 for Safety is a monthly article designed to give equipment and event rental stores the information they need to conduct a five-minute safety meeting on a particular topic. Below are talking points for this month’s meeting. The Take 5 for Safety signup sheet can be downloaded below. This can be used to take attendance during the meeting.
Introduction: An exit route is a continuous and unobstructed path of exit travel from any point within a workplace to a place of safety.
Testing the evacuation warning system: Prompt evacuation of employees requires a warning system that can be heard throughout the building.
Test the fire alarm system to determine if it can be heard by all employees. If there is no fire alarm system, use a public address system, air horns or other means. During this meeting, sound the evacuation signal so employees are familiar with the sound.
Ensure there are sufficient exits:
- There should be at least two exits from hazardous areas on every floor of every building. Building or fire codes may require more exits for larger buildings.
- Walk around the building and verify that exits are marked with exit signs and there is sufficient lighting so people can safely travel to an exit. Anything blocking an exit must be removed.
- Enter every stairwell, walk down the stairs and open the exit door to the outside. Continue walking until you reach a safe place away from the building. Ensure employees know where the outdoor assembly area is in case of an evacuation.
Appoint an evacuation team leader and assign employees to direct evacuations of the building. Assign at least one person to each floor to act as a “floor warden” to direct employees to the nearest safe exit.
Assign a backup in case the floor warden is not available or if the size of the floor is very large. A fire, chemical spill or other hazard may block an exit, so make sure the evacuation team can direct employees to an alternate safe exit.
Ask employees if they would need any special assistance evacuating or moving to shelter. Assign a “buddy” or aide to assist persons with disabilities during an emergency. Contact the fire department to develop a plan to evacuate persons with disabilities.
Have a list of employees and maintain a visitor log at the front desk, reception area or main office area. Assign someone to grab the lists during an evacuation. Use the lists to account for everyone and inform the fire department whether everyone has been accounted for. When employees are evacuated from a building, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations require an accounting to ensure that everyone has safely exited the building.