Do You Have A Plan?
Each year, emergencies take their toll on business and industry- in both lives and dollars. But something can be done. You can limit injuries and damages, and return to normal operations more quickly if you have an Emergency Action Plan in place.
Regardless of whether you operate from a high-rise building or an industrial complex, or you rent, own, or lease your property, your first priority is to protect the health and safety of everyone in your facility. One common means of protection is through the use of an Emergency Evacuation Plan.
Planning for emergencies is critical in assisting you in assigning responsibilities and procedures when responding to fire, chemical, weather, utility or medical emergencies. A plan will also further assist you in developing preventative actions.
If you already have an evacuation plan, make certain your plan has accommodated any changes. If you don’t have a formal plan, we urge you to develop one. Plans compel you to think through the best course of action in an emergency.
Here are some items that should be included when developing your plan:
- Determine conditions under which an evacuation would be necessary.
- Establish a clear chain of command.
- Designate who has the authority to order an evacuation.
- Designate specific areas where personnel should gather after evacuating. Take a head count.
- List the names and last known location of personnel not accounted for. Confusion in the assembly areas can lead to unnecessary and dangerous search and rescue operations.
- Establish procedures for assisting non-English speaking workers and those with disabilities.
- Post evacuation procedures and clearly identify primary and secondary escape routes.
- Conduct training. Failing to practice can undermine even the best plans. Practice increases the likelihood of a confident and orderly evacuation. Coordinate plans with your local emergency management office.
The details involved in evacuation planning range from major to minor, but decisions have to be made, written down, presented, and practiced regularly.
Employees need to know what to do, and know it so well that they can put the plan into action even when they are rattled.
Being prepared for a catastrophe lessens the potential for injury, lost lives and property damage.
GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. is one of the most experienced property and casualty insurance brokerage consulting firms in the state, serving the region’s finest businesses.
The dedicated property and casualty team represents the full array of insurance carriers. Their knowledge and experience have earned the trust of many businesses throughout the area. Let us help you prepare for the unexpected with a solid evacuation plan today.
Contact GDI Insurance Agency, Inc. today for your hotel or hospitality insurance quote 1-888-991-2929.
Property Management with Safety in Mind
Workplace Hazard Precautions
As a property manager, you must oversee units, buildings or complexes for the owners of the facility. Your job is extremely important, as both tenants and owners rely on you to keep the property safe, orderly and functioning.
Your safety is just as important as the tenants occupying the premises, so keeping this mind is essential. Here are some pointers for avoiding injuries on the job:
- Always watch out for your personal safety when dealing with the public. Sometimes people can become violent, angry or act unpredictable for no reason or over a seemingly minor issue. You may experience stress with someone else over lease agreements, parking zones or when dealing with complaints and disputes.
- When collecting rent or carrying large amounts of cash, always keep your eyes out for others. To be less vulnerable, make frequent trips to the bank during regular business hours. It is also wise to let someone else (spouse, significant other, close friend, etc.) know your daily routine in case you cannot be reached. This could indicate to them that you are in danger and need assistance.
- Conduct frequent safety inspections to identify potential hazards, such as uneven pavement, puddles of oil or water in walkways, faulty door locks, etc. Fix these problems immediately or hire someone to do so.
- Limit access to the property by installing locks on all entrances. Also install adequate lighting to deter intruders, especially in more desolate areas of the building. It is also wise to manicure the landscaping often so that there are clear views around the property.
- Communicate hazards with your tenants by placing signs on defective equipment or by restricting them from areas that are being repaired.
- Do not try to perform services that you are not properly trained on, such as HVAC work, plumbing repair, etc. If you attempt to repair or replace something without expertise, you may unnecessarily hurt yourself and/or may damage the property as well.
- Always use caution when working on electrical equipment, as these items can pose shock hazards.
- Be mindful of crush dangers when working near fans, elevators and trash compactors.
May not represent all hazards present. For reference only. Source: National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
Commercial Property Fire Prevention
Owners and managers of commercial and business facilities have an obligation to maintain safe conditions for employees and occupants. The most common causes of commercial residential fires result from negligent cooking, improperly discarded smoking materials, negligent candle burning and faulty electrical equipment. To reduce the risk of damage and injury at your commercial property, there are three main objectives that should be satisfied: install proper prevention equipment, inform tenants of risks and establish an effective evacuation plan.
Restaurant Operations Equipment Maintenance
Cooking appliances are an invaluable asset to restaurant owners and operators. To prolong the life of this equipment, employees should properly clean and maintain appliances regularly. Use this checklist to identify the daily, weekly and periodic cleaning and maintenance duties that will keep your cooking equipment in usable condition for years to come.
Restaurant Storage Stocking Safety
Helpful tips for reducing injuries while stocking
Though that sack of potatoes or box of bread sticks does not look that heavy, oh boy; it sure is. You can develop serious injuries while unloading and stacking supplies in the restaurant’s storage room by not lifting items the proper way.
Believe it or not, there is a right and a wrong way to lift heavy loads. Follow these safety tips to reduce the risk of injury, specifically to your neck, back and shoulders:
- Use a stool or ladder to access items on high shelves to avoid reaching over your head.
- Separate large boxes into smaller loads and carry them one at a time.
- Use handrails when traveling on stairs while carrying items.
- Use a hand cart when moving large items. If you are 18 years or older, you may also use a forklift or pallet jack to help transport products.
- Wear gloves to prevent getting slivers or nail puncture wounds.
- Never attempt to carry anything without examining the path you will take. If there are obstacles in the way, remove them before continuing.
The Lifting Process
Now that you have put all cautions in place, here is how you pick up a load without the risk of injury:
- Bring the load as close to your body as possible before lifting.
- Push up with your legs instead of your back and keep your head up and your back straight. Also, bend at your knees.
- As you need to turn, shift your feet versus twisting your body at the waist.
- Keep the load directly in front of you with your elbows in close to your body as you walk with the load.
- When lowering it down, use your legs and bend your knees to slowly lower the load. Set down the objects while watching out for your fingers and toes.
Stacking and Storage
- Stack heavier items on the lower shelves to reduce the need to reach over your head.
- Place items that you and other staff members use frequently on shelves at waist level to reduce reaching.
Food Preparation Precautions
Tips for preventing injuries while preparing food
Preparing food can be a very fun and rewarding experience. You get to see the “fruits” of your labor and know that someone is enjoying what you’ve created.
While preparing food, there are several dangers that you may encounter in the kitchen. To ensure that you are not injured on the job, remember these safety tips.
Working with Knives
- Cut in the direction away from your body while keeping your fingers and thumbs out of the way of the cutting line
- Wear steel mesh or Kevlar gloves to protect your hands
- Let a falling knife fall; never try to catch it
- Carry knives with the cutting edge angled away from your body and the tip pointed down
Using Kitchen Equipment
Exercise these cautions when using slicers, dicers, steamers, choppers, microwaves and mixers:
- Use push sticks or tamps to push food into these machines; never use your hands to push items through
- Turn off and unplug machines before disassembling or cleaning
- Never open lids or put your hands into machines while they are on
- Use hot pads when removing hot items from the microwave to avoid burns
- Never place metal, foil or whole eggs into the microwave
- Stand to the side of a steamer and open the door using the lid as a shield between the machine and your body
- Always use the machine guarding provided for the appliances; never assume you will be safe without it
- Always lift with your knees and not your back
- Make sure loads are balanced before attempting to lift
- If you stand for a long time, use a foot rest to shift your weight back and forth
- Keep your elbows close to your body while cooking
- Use appliances to cut, dice and mix foods versus doing it by hand
- Rotate through various stations to avoid doing the same task over and over again and getting a strain
Preventing Slips and Falls
- Clean up spills immediately and use cones or signs to indicate a wet floor
- Wear non-slip footwear with the laces tied tight
- Use non-slip floor mats on surfaces that tend to get wet.