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Respond to a Workplace Emergency

It is possible that you may be at work when an emergency - such as a fire, blizzard, or severe summer storm – occurs. You should prepare for these emergencies as you would at home by taking the following steps:

Prepare for a workplace emergency

  • Participate in worksite drills and emergency exercises. Know what your responsibilities are and what you should do if an emergency occurs.
  • Know the layout of your office so you could escape in the dark without being injured.
  • Know where employees meet once they have evacuated from the building.
  • Know the location of fire extinguishers and how to use them.
  • Gather your personal "Go Bag" of emergency supplies stored in your desk drawer.

Stay safe during a workplace emergency

  • If instructed to do so, get out as quickly and calmly as possible. Do not use the elevator to exit the building. Walk down emergency stairwells/exits.
  • If you are asked to stay where you are, follow the tips listed under shelter-in-place.
  • If debris is falling on you, get under a sturdy table or desk.
  • If you are trapped in your office, go to a room with outside windows and wave a light-coloured cloth so rescuers can see you.
  • If you are trapped in a damaged building, blow a whistle so rescuers can locate you.

After a workplace emergency

  • If you can, help anyone who is injured. If you are injured, seek medical help.
  • Only use the telephone if you need immediate emergency assistance. Emergency crews may need all available lines.
  • Follow instructions provided by emergency crews.
  • Help co-workers if public transportation is down or roadways are impassable.