Oh no… What do we do?!?!?
Have you ever been to a hotel and on the inside of your room door there’s the map saying you are here, in case of fire or emergency, here are your exits?
That little poorly framed map and instructions are the basics of an emergency action plan (EAP). How does the map you never really look at in your hotel room correlate with your CrossFit Box? Well, it’s a basic and crude example of an emergency action plan. Does your box have an EAP?
Why should you have an EAP?
You need to have a plan in case of an emergency. Emergencies can include (but not limited to): fire, medical emergency, structural emergency, natural disaster/event of nature (i.e. flood, earthquake, etc).
Write it Down! Your EAP needs to be a written document, clearly posted and all employees need to have a clear understanding of what to do in the event of an emergency.
What does an EAP need to include?
Your EAP doesn’t need to be crazy, but it needs to have some pertinent info on what to do in the event of an emergency. Such as:
Layout of your facility: include a detailed layout of your facility. Where is the best place for emergency personnel to enter your facility?
Determine a chain of command
- In-house: who in your facility is trained in CPR/AED? Other skills? Who will signal emergency services where to go? Who is the leader in the event of an emergency?
- Outside help: it may be worth meeting with your fire department or ambulance service to discuss what they would prefer to do in the event that you do need their help?
Outline how help can be reached (i.e., call 911)
- Include clearly written details like address and other pertinent details that might be needed to guide emergency workers to your location. So if you’re in an industrial park, all at one address, number of your suite or landmarks to look for to find you better.
Clearly describe where emergency equipment is located in your facility, like the first aid kit and AED.
Clearly outline where your means of communication are (phone – land line is preferred when calling for help over a cell phone when possible).
Local hospitals and medical facilities: it may be a good idea to have a list of your local medical facilities and their directions or addresses to assist your clients and guests in the event of an emergency.
Documentation: After an emergency the incident needs to be documented. What does your box need to do to completely document the incident? This protects you, your business, your employees and your clients.
Debrief: What went well? What didn’t? How can you make your system better?
This document should be evaluated and updated regularly, as needed. You don’t want to get caught with your pants down! Have strategies in place prior to an incident occurring – as the boy scouts say “always be prepared!”
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