“Way too many executives/administrators think that they’re not required by law to train all employees for emergencies in their workplace. Wrong! Every employer in America is required by law to train all employees, without exception,” cautions Bo Mitchell, a veteran certified emergency manager and president of 911 Consulting.
Wilton, Connecticut Police Commissioner for 16 years, Mitchell retired in February 2001 to found 911 Consulting which creates emergency, disaster recovery and business continuity plans, training and exercises for organizations like GE, Hyatt Hotels, MasterCard and universities.
As emergency planning takes on greater importance, and visibility, Mitchell has prepared a 10 Commandments of Workplace Emergency Training report.
“While great emergency plans are a smart thing, training is everything,” Mitchell stated in the short manual, warning that, “If we don’t get the words off the paper and into employees’ heads, we have failed operationally, morally and legally.”
“Understanding the obligation of employers regarding training is critical,” he said, noting that the 10 commandments of workplace emergency training he’s outlined are “required by law for every employer in the US without exception for emergency action and fire prevention plans.”
“To experts in workplace safety and security, the ten commandments of workplace emergency training are self-evident truths,” Mitchell said, “But, these experts also recognize that most senior managers in corporations, campuses and medical facilities are ignorant of even their core management responsibilities for personnel safety in the workplace. In fact, many employers’ inside and outside lawyers are ignorant of these responsibilities.”
Consequently, he said, “Workplace and worker law is a specialty unknown to most. But, once through this door, the documentation regarding the 10 commandments is voluminous. This controlling documentation is manifested in federal, state and local statutes, regulations, codes and court decisions; plus administrative interpretations on part of authorities having jurisdiction—from your local fire marshal to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulators in Washington, DC.”
And OSHA isn’t a town in Wisconsin, he said. “These regulations apply to corporations, campuses, medical facilities, non-profits, employers of any size or business model, federal agencies and, in most cases, state and local agencies. 29 CFR 1910.38 and 1910.39 cover Emergency Action Plans (EAP) and Fire Prevention Plans (FPP), both required by federal law of every employer without exception. EAPs and FPPs are required in addition to what the state and local codes may require.”
The 10 Commandments of Workplace Emergency Training document can be downloaded here.