Training for emergency preparedness

Training for emergency preparedness includes evacuation procedures in case of collision, gas release, fires and explosions, recognition of alarm signals, and appropriate action in the event of terrorist acts, fires, floods, dangerous spills etc. Workplace emergencies come in many forms.

Some potential emergencies will only occur in certain industries, while others are more global. Understanding the types of emergencies is the first step in knowing how to act in these circumstances.

Of course, the Training for emergency preparedness and the regular practice of drills will help all the members of the organization to learn to take an active part in protecting their colleagues in the event of one undesirable event.

In an emergency in the workplace, it is vital to behave appropriately. The initial reaction, the immediate response and the subsequent steps to follow are decisive to get out of a situation that can turn into something very dangerous, even deadly, for the affected worker and others who are in the area.

An emergency is an event that occurs that endangers employees, threatens to disrupt workplace operations, or causes harm. Emergencies can take many forms, but they generally fall into three categories: natural, work-related, and external.

Training for emergency preparedness and response

An EMERGENCY occurs unexpectedly and requires immediate action. They are those derived from terrorist acts, fires, floods, spills of chemical products, earthquakes…

Training for emergency preparedness
Training for emergency preparedness

The employer must consider the possibility that these situations may occur taking into account the activity and size of the company and adopt whatever measures are necessary for the protection of workers, in terms of First Aid, Firefighting and Evacuation of the workers. For you must carry out the Emergency Plan by the characteristics of the company, which will include:

  • Personnel designated as emergency teams and First Aid. As well as the accreditation of their training. 
  • Materials: fire extinguishers, evacuation routes, emergency exits….
  • Assembly point. 
  • Communication with external civil protection services.
  • Evacuation procedure. 

Emergency preparedness and response plan

Do you know how to react to an emergency at work? First aid is given according to the type of emergency and the actions taken will depend on the type of problem that arises. Although the most frequent emergencies are related according to the industry sector, the most common are usually falls, blows, fractures or burns.

In any case, we must be aware that the evolution of the injured person’s improvement will depend on the first aid received just after the accident. 

Training for emergency preparedness
Training for emergency preparedness

The most important step, in any case, is to remain calm and notify medical assistance immediately. In the event of an accident, the first thing you should do is:

  • Protect the scene of the events: Try to ensure that there is nothing that endangers your life and that of the affected person. 
  • Alert emergency services: Immediately call an ambulance.
  • Keep calm and avoid crowds: React calmly, without alarming anyone and even though everyone wants to help at that time, try to only be the necessary people.
  • Do not move the injured person without first assessing their condition unless it is necessary. If the person’s life is at risk (for example a fire or an earthquake), avoid moving the injured person, as you could worsen their condition.
  • Do not try to feed or drink: You could generate other discomforts such as nausea or vomiting. It is preferable to wait for the arrival of the paramedics.
  • Do not leave the injured person until the medical assistance service arrives: Wait for the ambulance to arrive and provide as much information as possible about the injured person. 
  • Follow the company’s Emergency Plan 

Communication is very important during an emergency. That is why Emergency Plans must be previously developed within the company so that employees can take the appropriate actions. Some points that are taken into account in an emergency plan:

  • Evacuation plans. 
  • Alarm systems. 
  • Staff Notification Procedures. 
  • Action before Cardiorespiratory Arrest

When we find a person who has collapsed or is lying on the ground or a surface, we must assess:

  • Breathing: we will see if his eyes are open and if he answers our questions. If he does not respond, gently shake the patient, being careful not to cause possible injury. If it continues without responding, we are facing a victim in an unconscious state and we must assess her breathing.
  • NOT RESPONDING and NOT BREATHING: call an emergency contact number and find out if a defibrillator is available nearby. BEGIN CARDIOPULMONARY RESUSCITATION MANEUVERS.

Choking Prevention

Every year more than 20,000 people die from choking. Prevention is the best way to avoid them. In this blog, we explain the best way to choking prevention and How to act before choking?

In case of choking, follow these guidelines:

  • If the patient is conscious and able to cough, encourage him to cough.
  • If he is aware but unable to cough on his own, try holding him firmly and:
  • Perform 5 blows on the back. Embrace the patient from behind, surrounding him with your arms, place your fist in the area of the pit of the stomach and, above it, the other hand, and perform 5 compressions. If the foreign body is not expelled, continue with the following manoeuvre.
  • Attention in pregnant and lactating women (less than 1 year): substitute for 5 chest compressions. 

In the event of airway obstruction, the first thing to do is always call the emergency contact number, but when the emergency health teams arrive, you can follow these steps to try to unblock the airway by yourself. Knowing these techniques is very useful as it is very effective in saving lives in the event of choking on a piece of food or any other object.


That is why both the Public Fire Extinguishing Services and the industrial intervention teams can be regularly involved in the intervention in the event of a HAZMAT emergency. Therefore, the Training for emergency preparedness of the personnel that intervenes in a HAZMAT emergency is of vital importance, which allows for establishing an intervention in a fast, agile and effective way based on the characteristics of the substances involved in the emergency.


Currently, there is no regulatory framework at the European and/or national level in which regulated and standardized Training for emergency preparedness is established in the event of a HAZMAT emergency.

Training for emergency preparedness
Training for emergency preparedness

In this sense, NFPA 472: Competencies of personnel responding to incidents with hazardous materials, establishes various levels and objectives regarding the desired Training for emergency preparedness. In this way, we find:

  1. Personnel is to provide the skills and Training for emergency preparedness necessary to quickly recognize the presence of hazardous substances involved in an emergency and the risks associated with them. Likewise, also provide the necessary information about the emergency to trained personnel in intervention tasks in a safe manner, duly protecting and securing the affected area.
  2. The Training for emergency preparedness is aimed at personnel who have the mission assigned to intervene in the event of an accident with hazardous substances, minimize its consequences and protect life, property and the environment.
  3. Personal to acquire the necessary skills to respond to this type of emergency through a defensive strategy, controlling the release of the substance and preventing the spread of the incident, but always from a safe distance.
  4. Trained personnel will acquire the skills to carry out a risk assessment, and identify the most appropriate action procedures based on the substances involved, using the most suitable offensive or defensive action strategies. 

Emergency preparedness and response procedure

In a workplace, there should always be prior instructions, called “Action measures in case of emergencies”, which will have been provided to all workers regarding the possible situations that may occur in it: fires, medical emergencies, landslides, liquid spills, etc.

These instructions will include the action procedure in each of them, depending on their danger, and the means available to the workers, always bearing in mind that they are not emergency professionals (firefighters, health workers…) and that their actions will be limited by their knowledge, by the means available and by the logic that they should not risk their physical integrity by exposing themselves.


If a worker in an emergency enters a state of high excitement (nervousness), forgets how to proceed or suffers such fear that he may even be blocked, the consequences for him and others can be fatal.  In an emergency, it is essential that the worker, whether or not they have functions assigned in the emergency action measures, remain calm and act serenely, by the provisions of previously established procedures. 

Training for emergency preparedness
Training for emergency preparedness


This psychological factor has a “moldable” part (which does not depend on the personality of each one), and that can be worked on to improve it in these situations, through:

  • Appropriate Training for emergency preparedness on emergencies, to know how they evolve, and the most dangerous moments.
  • Knowledge of intervention and evacuation means available, how they can protect themselves and others or help solve the emergency.
  • Carrying out practices and drills, to be prepared before the emergency occurs.
  • Immediate responses to emergencies.

In an emergency, any worker should follow a basic response pattern: the PAS rule.

  1. To protect: Protect himself from suffering damage resulting from the emergency, and if possible, other people.
  2. Advise: Call a colleague to notify the company managers, or call an emergency contact number to start the assistance chain.
  3. Solve: Once we have protected the area and people and have activated the assistance chain through internal calls, try to help those affected or solve the emergency.

Emergency Response

Emergencies in the workplace are events that we want never to happen. But while the probability exists, one of the most effective ways to minimize the impact and avoid fatal losses is to prepare the organization and the people who comprise it for one of these critical moments.

In these types of events, many workers suffer injuries during the first moment after the actual occurrence of the accident, due to not knowing how to act and what to do during one of these emergencies in the workplace. 


All incidents that occur in a workplace must be reported to management, including minor spills, fires or injuries. Incidents in the workplace should be investigated. Health and safety management requires individuals involved in an incident to complete an Incident Form. The form is then sent to higher management for further evaluation and comments by the Safety Committee. The person in charge of the workplace will be responsible for implementing the corrective actions that prevent the recurrence of incidents.


The following signs are required in the workplace.

An “Emergency Information” sign shall be posted outside each workplace, either on the outside of the door or on the wall next to the door. This sign will provide information on specific risks of the workplace, special precautions, required personal protective equipment, and emergency contact numbers. The information must be updated whenever necessary.

A “Workplace Emergency Procedures” sign should be prominently displayed within the workplace, near the door or telephone. The sign will briefly describe what to do in an emergency.

A label indicating the telephone number of the Safety and Control office must be placed on each telephone in the workplace.


Workplace safety Training for emergency preparedness is just as vital as workplace safety itself. It enables management to ensure a safe and healthy work environment. It also helps employees recognize safety hazards and correct them. It enables them to understand safety best practices and expectations.

Safety Training for emergency preparedness is vital for employees or workers in regards to understanding safety practices related to their jobs; otherwise, a worker will be at increased risk of workplace injury, illness, or death.

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You may be faced with an unforeseen situation that threatens your employees, customers or visitors. A workplace emergency can disrupt or stop your operation or cause physical or environmental damage without warning. A checklist of the main points to attend to in this Training for emergency preparedness would look like this:

Safe Work Analysis

Fill in the general information about the job or task.

  • Equipment or Tools to Use at Work.
  • Jobs Considered Dangerous require Work Permits.
  • Fill in the column “Steps for the development of the Task”.
  • Identify the hazards within each step in the “Hazards” column.
  • Now, state the hazard control measures.

Personal protective equipment

  • Hierarchy of control
  • Personal protection equipment.
  • PPE for head protection.
  • Characteristic of eye and face protective equipment.
  • PPE for hearing protection.
  • Respiratory protection.
  • PPE for hand protection.
  • PPE for foot protection.

Training for emergency preparedness

Dangerous materials

  • Objectives
  • Presentation of chemical substances
  • Rout of entry
  • Hazards Present in Chemical Substances
  • NFPA 704 System
  • Global Harmonized System
  • Safety Data Sheets
  • Preventive measures
 Hot Work Safety
  • Risk factors.
  • Lockout tag out.
  • Emergency plan.
  • Execution of Hot Work.
  • Fire watch, fire extinguisher and fire blanket
  • Combustible and flammable materials
  • Personal protective equipment.
Work at Height
  • Hierarchy of control.
  • Personal protective equipment.
  • Barricading and Signage.
  • Full body harness and 100% tie-off

Confined space

  • Rules that regulate operations in confined spaces.
  • What is confined space?
  • Characteristic of confined spaces.
  • Classification of confined spaces.
  • Examples of confined spaces.
  • Confined space entry permit.
  • Risks Associated with Confined Spaces.
  • Atmospheric risks.
  • Gas test.
  • Confined spaces rescue plan.

Basic First Aid

  • Principle of Emergency Action review, call, attend.
  • Victim Assessment: Conscious and Unconscious.
  • Vital signs.
  • Sudden illnesses: Cerebrovascular (Stroke), Seizures, Poisoning.
  • Hypoglycemia, Severe allergy, Syncope (Fainting), Diabetic emergencies.
  • Basic First Aid Kit.
  • Choking (theoretical and practical).
  • Heat stress.
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), includes the new COVID-19 Protocol.

Training for emergency preparedness at least once a year, where topics such as first aid care, evacuation routes, use of emergency equipment, assembly point after evacuation…etc.


A workplace emergency response plan brings together the actions that must be taken in the event of an accident or other type of catastrophic event. Knowing what, who, when and how to do the best thing at a critical moment like this will prevent injuries and save lives:

Step 1: Prevention

Before an emergency occurs, it is possible to take measures to deal with the disruptive event. Ensuring the provision of protective equipment to deal with the emergency, such as fire extinguishers, stretchers, respirators, and medications, among many others, is undoubtedly the first point to address in an emergency response plan in the workplace.

  • Safety induction Training for emergency preparedness for people who are not familiar with evacuation routes and procedures, such as visitors, interns, subcontracted workers…
  • Update the Training for emergency preparedness when there is a change in the location of protective equipment, evacuation routes, and assembly points, assignment of responsibilities or changes in emergency numbers.
  • Obtain a representative number of employees trained in first aid.
  • Update first aid Training for emergency preparedness regularly.
  • Train professionals in Safety and Health at Work.
  • Train personnel in safety against fires, earthquakes, floods and other similar catastrophic events.
  • Carry out safety drills, in which the ability of employees to assume the functions assigned to them in dealing with emergencies in the workplace is tested.
  • Regularly check the status of personal protective equipment, masks, fire extinguishers, first aid kits, and stretchers…
  • Signal escape routes, location of emergency rescue teams, emergency lines…

Step 2: Mitigation

  • Staying calm and guaranteeing everyone’s safety at this first critical moment. It is important to assign the responsibility of assuming leadership at the moment, to a professional expert in OHS. This leader will have to take into account the following points:
  • Stay calm, informing all employees of the existence of the emergency, with a calm tone of voice, without causing alarm and reminding each of them of the importance of following the procedures learned.
  • Establish a complete overview of what happened and the real impact at the time of proceeding with the evacuation, identifying, first of all, the real dangers at that moment.
  • Communicate with the emergency rescue team, such as doctors, firefighters, police…
  • Some emergencies, such as fire or explosion hazards, require raising an immediate alarm and using equipment as soon as possible. The leader is responsible for doing so.

Step 3: Preparedness

This stage is where the benefits of having designed, implemented and, above all, communicated a good emergency management plan in the workplace are evident. At this time, all employees assume their roles and perform the assigned functions. The emergency services have been notified and, in those few minutes before help arrives, it is possible to make a difference and save lives:

  • Identify the areas of greatest risk and rescue people who are in them, especially if they are injured or wounded.
  • Provide the emergency services with complete information about the events that have occurred and about the risks that can make the emergency even more serious.
  • Inform Senior Management detailing the current status of the facilities, imminent risks and the number of injured, detailing their status and current location.
  • Perform first aid interventions. Breathing procedures, chest compressions, dressings, bandages, immobilization of fractured limbs, stop bleeding…

Step 4: Response

Workplace emergencies have an impact on people’s humanity, but also on their state of mind. Although the Training for emergency preparedness processes has been very effective, some people will require talks to be calmed and controlled. At this point, the following actions will prove very useful:

  • Review the first aid procedures practised in the previous stage, if the emergency services have not yet arrived.
  • Talk to people, calm them down and control the situation, making them understand that the worst is over.
  • Verify the transfer of all injured people to hospitals and health care centres.
  • Advance a preliminary report of damage, people affected and their status.

Step 5: Communicate information effectively

When emergencies occur in the workplace, people do not know exactly how to transmit the information about what has happened, who to communicate it to and, above all, they tend to overestimate the facts and their consequences. 

It is necessary to understand exactly what has happened, at what point exactly the emergency originated, how many people were affected and how serious each of these effects was, what measures were taken to control the situation and what risks persist at the time of reporting. 

Training for emergency preparedness

For this to happen, this responsibility must be assigned to someone who can do it well. It is important to define:

  • Who will call and inform the emergency services?
  • Who will speak to the media -when the magnitude of the incident warrants it-?
  • Who will contact family members of affected workers or visitors?
  • Who will write a final report for Senior Management?

Step 6: Document the accident

Documenting and evaluating what happened is very important at this time. The experts in Safety and Health at Work are called upon to carry out this work. Among other topics, the report will take into account the following aspects:

  • Actions were taken to deal with the emergency.
  • Efficacy and performance of the emergency management plan in the workplace.


If there is something positive in the occurrence of emergencies in the workplace, it is the opportunity to learn from the experience and design corrective actions. Several very important points must be reviewed and, if appropriate, corrected:

  • Did the emergency equipment work as expected? Was it available at the agreed location?
  • Was the investigation into the root cause of the problem promptly initiated?
  • Is it necessary to improve Training for emergency preparedness programs?
  • Did the employees perform the same way they did during the drills?

Health and safety topics

  1. What does NFPA 704 mean
  2. Safety data sheet definition




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