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Keeping Your Employees Safe in an Emergency

While the workers’ compensation system insulates employers from liability in personal injury claims, employers still maintain a duty to ensure that their workers are safe while in the course of performing work-related duties. Proper training, equipment and safety protocols are all important to keeping your employees safe. It can also insulate employers from fines and other penalties, including OSHA violations that may disturb business profits and operations.

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Workplace safety is critical to preventing injury and accidental death. In addition to protecting workers in their everyday work lives, employers should also prepare for emergencies and disasters. Our Massachusetts workers’ compensation attorneys are dedicated to keeping employees safe and to helping employers create a safe work environment. Here are some additional tips as offered by Entrepreneur Magazine, to help keep your workplace safe in the event of an emergency.

Be a leader. Employers are responsible for having a plan and enacting that plan to keep employees safe. Being a leader means being responsible for your own safety as well as the security and safety of your employees.

Be prepared for the unthinkable.
As we have seen more frequently in the media, any place of business could become the target of a robbery, shooting, or other attack. Natural disasters, including floods and hurricanes could strike. Usually it is difficult to imagine such events, but is important to remember that it could happen to you.

Practice and teach awareness.
Employers and employees can be an asset in the event of an emergency. Pay close attention and always be aware of suspicious behavior. As with the campaign, “If you see something, say something,” teach your employees to remain aware and call attention to potential problems.

Consult with experts. In addition to OSHA, which can help you in training and keeping your workplace safe, there are other agencies that can assist you with creating an emergency plan. Law enforcement agencies are a resource to develop a plan and create security in the workplace. You can also look to private experts or consult with legal counsel to ensure that you are taking appropriate steps.

Create an emergency plan. You should have a clear set of directives in the event of an emergency, including a fire, attack, or other natural disaster. Employees should have a proven understanding of their obligations and company protocol should you be faced with a crisis. The plan should be in writing and you should include this emergency plan in your employee policies and procedures manual.

Practice means action.
Practicing an emergency plan will put your employees into action in the event of a crisis. Understanding the policies and procedures and practice can ensure that your plan is effectively put into action. Emergency drills should take place every quarter or every six months. Employees should understand their role and the purpose of the drill so that they know where to go and what to do.

Assign leadership roles.
Designating authority figures in the event of an emergency can help to ensure coordination and effective implementation. These captains or leaders should be willing to take on additional responsibility and to work to keep other employees safe. Safety in your workplace should be a team effort.

If you or a loved one has been injured on the job in Massachusetts, call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your workers’ compensation claim– 1-888-367-2900.

More Blog Entries:
Workers’ Parents Win $1M in Wrongful Death Suit, Massachusetts Worker’s Compensation Lawyers Blog, August 30, 2013

Prescription Drug Use and Your Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Claim, Massachusetts Worker’s Compensation Lawyers Blog, September 24, 2013