Responsible workplaces have clear emergency response plans in place, ensuring that their workers know exactly how to respond in the event of a natural disaster, severe weather event or chemical exposure. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration created several standards that specifically outline best practices and training requirements for employers handling emergency situations in the workplace.
OSHA recently issued six serious and two repeated health violations to one of the largest food service distributors in Massachusetts following an extensive investigation. The inspection uncovered several deficiencies in the facility's Process Safety Management program regarding handling, testing and responding to dangerous chemicals in the event of a leak or emergency.
"Responsible workplaces have clear emergency response plans."
The plant's food pump room leaked an estimated 9 pounds of anhydrous ammonia last October. Not only did the ammonia sensor not sound an alarm, but workers did not follow an adequate emergency response plan following the leak.
"The leak was relatively small but the consequences could have been enormous," Kenneth Shedden, OSHA's area director for Boston and southeastern Massachusetts, said. "Exposure to even as little as 300 parts per million of anhydrous ammonia is immediately dangerous to life and health. An uncontrolled release can be lethal and catastrophic."
This event emphasizes the importance of employers offering emergency preparedness training courses. Employees will learn how to identify, address, report and respond to potential hazards or emergency situations, keeping them safe and healthy on the job. In the event of an emergency, employers need to make sure that their workers know where to go, what to do, what to wear and how to respond. Emergency planning training is the best way to achieve these goals.
To learn more about Emergency Planning training and how our online safety training courses and employee training tracking software will keep your workplace in compliance with OSHA's training regulations, contact IndustrySafe today.