Fire Safety in The Workplace

Fire Safety in The Workplace

Office fires are responsible for approximately hundreds of deaths each year and thousands of injuries. That’s according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), tracking workplace safety and hazards. OSHA identified inadequate prevention measures, inaccessible exits, and poor training likely contributed to these numbers. Many fires can be prevented and the right training can help employees escape in case of danger. Evaluating current fire prevention measures, equipping facility and staff with responsive equipment, and incorporating employee training can all help reduce risk and injury from office fires.

1. Evaluate

The first step in improving fire response and prevention is to inspect and evaluate the workspace for any potential hazards for causing fires or preventing escape. Be sure to check:

  • Electrical wiring. Overuse of extension cords and power strips can lead to potential fire risk. They also create trip hazards. Seek safe and permanent solution for electrical needs.
  • Storage. Flammable materials have special storage instructions for preventing fires. Establish safe storage and ventilation procedures around the office or job site.
  • Smoking areas. Designated smoking areas and cigarette-butt collection containers reduce the risk of accidental fire.
  • Tools and appliances. Some tools and appliances have greater electrical requirements which may contribute to electrical fires if used in an unsafe manner. Check for the UL safety mark before turning plugging tools and appliances into electrical sockets.
  • Exits. Check for the proper number of building and room exits and clear for ease of use.
  • Emergency lighting. Check emergency lighting for function.

After evaluating current measures and practices improvements and additions can be made.

2. Equip

Lighting, sprinkler systems and alarms, and fire extinguishers all contribute to workplace safety. Depending on the size and layout of a workplace a combination of safety measures may help reduce risk. Fire extinguishers are an affordable and simple way to improve employee safety and reduce the risk of fire.

Different types of fire extinguishers are available for fighting different types of potential fires in the workplace. Individual requirements will help determine the right type of fire extinguisher for the workspace:

  • Type A: Fights fires made from wood and paper materials.
  • Type B: Extinguishes fires caused by flammable liquids such as gasoline, oil, and industrial solvents.
  • Type C: Fights electrical fires.
  • Type D: Fights fires related to combustible metals like magnesium, potassium, and titanium.
  • Type K: Fights kitchen and grease fires.

Follow the regular maintenance schedule to keep fire extinguishers operable and ready in case of fire. Maintain access to fire extinguishers at all times.

3. Train

Equipment and training go together. Teach staff on fire responsive measures and hold regular safety training to keep employees safe. Employee fire safety training can be structured to include training on:

  • Finding and triggering fire alarms.
  • Locating and identifying safe exits.
  • Selecting and operating fire extinguishers.

Employers and staff should always place safety first. Train employees to evacuate any time they feel unsafe, the fire is too large, or exit may be threatened by remaining.

To learn more about workplace fire prevention and for other safety information, contact an agent. Fire prevention affects insurance premiums and coverage. Add safety measures and reduce risk. For more information about commercial fire insurance or for answers to insurance questions, call today.

Workplace Safety & Corporate Culture Go Hand in Hand

Workplace Safety & Corporate Culture Go Hand in Hand

Small-business owners rely on strong employees. The challenge for nearly all is finding strong employees, to begin with. Today firms of all sizes are using creative strategies for attracting and retaining great talent. For many, this means unique vacation incentives and other tantalizing packages, yet often-overlooked is simply creating a safe work environment. A safe environment promotes well-being and productivity.

Insurance veteran David Quezada says it is important for management to prioritize safety. This protecting the workplace, staff, and any visitors. Mr. Chris Edmonds, the founder of The Purposeful Culture Group, concurs with thinking. Edmonds says managers ensuring a risk-free workplace will reap significant rewards. It is important organizations of any size to invest in safety and accountability measures. Safety should be the required standard.

They may be on to something. Research shows companies operating in positive, risk-free work-spaces outperform those working elsewhere. Customers respond well to safe employees, and the opposite holds true as well. Firms neglecting safety soon find the phone lines quiet.

Recent small-business research shows only 17% of employees receive adequate workplace safety training. That number is eclipsed by those without any training, a whopping 25% of respondents. Employees without training will have difficulty adhering to safety standards. Initial and ongoing safety training is recommended for companies of all sizes.

Edmonds underscored the importance of safety-related correlating safety with competence and security. Safe employees are shown to perform better. A culture of safety begins at the top and spreads throughout an organization. Safety classes, manuals, and other materials may be helpful for training and reference purposes. Safety is an ongoing conversation in which employees and management should be actively part. Respond to safety concerns swiftly.

Safety assessments are recommended to evaluate employee performance and knowledge of safety policies and procedures. Safety is an active consideration. An organization with a well-defined safety culture stands to gain. Safety always takes precedence over profits. Be ready to invest in tangible and intangible safety measures to improve workplace safety and morale. Safety is easily achieved with the right attitude and strategy.

Insurance-related topics have a surprisingly large bearing on health and finances. Call anytime for answers to insurance questions.