Disaster can strike when you are least expecting it. Prepare in advance to keep your funeral home safe.
What is an Emergency Action Plan?
An emergency action plan (EAP) is just what it sounds like: a prepared response to any emergency, such as a natural disaster or violent attack. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires almost all employers to provide an EAP. This plan can be oral for employers with fewer than ten employees but must be written for larger businesses.
How to Develop And Implement an Emergency Action Plan For Your Funeral Home
A funeral home emergency action plan is critical to protect employees and funeral home visitors in the event of a natural or manmade emergency. The following are some appropriate steps to take to prepare yourself for the unexpected:
- Develop an EAP. Assess potential threats to the funeral home. Collect emergency contact information from all employees. Designate emergency coordinators and alternate coordinators and area or floor monitors.
- Plan an evacuation route. Consider the layout of the building and the surrounding area. Designate a route and an alternate route to leave the building and a safe meeting place.
- Prepare an emergency toolkit. Useful toolkit supplies include a flashlight, batteries, a first aid kit, water, and nonperishable food.
- Install an alarm system. This alarm should alert employees of the need to evacuate in case of any emergency, not just fire. The alarm should be accessible to people of all abilities, so make sure to consider sight and hearing impairments when choosing an alarm.
- Train employees. Training should include the various types of potential emergencies, the alarm system, the reporting procedure, and the individual roles certain employees may have.
- Practice fire and evacuation drills. Running through evacuation procedures ensures that employees know what to do in case of a real emergency. While employees should be prepared to assist with funeral home visitors in a real emergency, drills should not be conducted when visitors are present.
- Follow OSHA regulations. Make sure that chemicals, especially formaldehyde, are properly stored. Provide appropriate respiratory protection for employees.
- Provide emergency devices. Funeral homes may keep emergency devices such as an automatic external defibrillator (AED) on hand in case a visitor or employee goes into cardiac arrest.
No one can anticipate every threat, but being prepared can go a long way toward mitigating disaster. Schedule a consultation at MKS&H to discuss how to implement an emergency action plan for your funeral home.