HR Support on Ensuring Effective Emergency Drills

Editor's Note: Emergency drill practice makes for a perfect response.

Melissa BoyceOverview: While having an emergency plan in place may be legally required, oftentimes putting that plan into practice (through drills or other training) is not. However, without practice a plan's weaknesses will never be exposed and employees may forget what to do if they panic during a true emergency situation.

To encourage safety in the workplace, regular fire and evacuation drills should be conducted to ensure that employees are prepared and that things go as smoothly as possible during a real event.

The employer should evaluate the success of the drills and adjust accordingly. For example, did everyone hear the alarm? Did everyone respond appropriately and immediately? Were the evacuation routes free from hazards and easily accessible for all employees? Did all alarms go off successfully? Was there a system for conducting a headcount?

Trends: Employers may want to take advantage of initiatives like Fire Prevention Week and National Preparedness Month to test their emergency response systems with appropriate drills.

Author: Melissa Gonzalez Boyce, JD, Legal Editor

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About This Topic

HR guidance on conducting drills to increase the likelihood of a successful workplace response in a real emergency.