The Importance of Emergency Drills

Each facility should conduct routine drills to ensure that employees can perform assigned functions and that the plan actually works. These drills can be used to finely tune the facility's response to emergencies and greatly reduce the possibility of inappropriate actions that could lead to unnecessary endangerment of people and property. Training drills should include briefs to employees on the expected response from emergency personnel from both on-site and off.

Types of danger and graduated response:

Each facility emergency response plan should define the levels of danger to both people and property. Management should train employees how and why these various levels are activated by management and what their specific actions should be. Evacuation response actions should be tailored to the situation and type of danger that exists or could possibly exist. These types of dangers, from least severe to most severe, are categorized as:

  • Possible danger
  • Imminent danger
  • Immediate danger
  • Life-Threatening danger

Employee actions:

All employee actions during emergencies should be directed to:

  • Actions to notify Emergency Response Units
  • Action to facilitate orderly and timely evacuation if necessary, this includes notifying and assisting the disabled.
  • Actions to limit the severity of the emergency
  • Actions to assist Emergency Response Units and personnel

Employees should be cautioned not to attempt any actions for which they are not trained unless inaction would result in a Life-Threatening danger. Employees should not be expected to unnecessarily endanger themselves while carrying out their assigned duties.