How To...

How to plan your emergency drill

A realistic emergency drill scenario with 'patients' trained to act out the effects of different types of injuries and exposures. (
A realistic emergency drill scenario with ‘patients’ trained to act out the effects of different types of injuries and exposures. (

All work sites should have an emergency drill, with provisions for calling in specialist personnel and equipment, should it be needed.

After conducting a risk assessment that takes into account the nature and scope of work, the necessary emergency procedures should become apparent.

Among the points to consider are:
• Avoid lone working. Implement a buddy system where workers are assigned to jobs in pairs. If this is not possible, arrangements must be made for someone to check the worker at regular intervals. The greater the risk, the more frequent the checks should be. Lone workers should always inform their contact when work starts and has finished.

• If a team is scattered across an area, everyone in the team should arrange to meet at agreed times throughout the day.

An emergency drill on World First Aid Day in Beijing (
An emergency drill on World First Aid Day in Beijing (

• Carry personal first aid kits while at work. This should be in addition to a work site first aid kit kept at a central location.

• There needs to be a system for contacting the emergency services, power/gas/water companies and environmental agencies as may become necessary. Ensure the system is clearly understood by all people working on the site. Identify areas of poor radio and mobile telephone reception.

• Ensure you know your location. Be able to provide the emergency services with the necessary information to find the site, such as the grid reference and the access points from the main road to your location in the forest or woodland. In urban areas, street names will be required. On linear installations such as rail, powerlines or pipelines, mark each post or gantry or section with a number, that also appears on all plans and in toolbox talks. If possible send someone to meet the emergency services at a designated meeting point to guide them to the site.

• Evacuation measures need to be examined and evaluated as part of the risk assessment by the owner, site manager or main contractor and outlined in the site safety rules. All employees must be familiar with the evacuation procedure.

• Conduct regular Emergency Drills. It is useful to conduct the drill as if the emergency were actually taking place, this can overcome employee complacency.

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