Air Force

February 14, 2014

Don’t become a workplace statistic, know your exit routes

Technical Services Section
Edwards Air Force Base Fire Protection Division

exit-sign
Ask yourself this question, “If an emergency were to happen at work today am I prepared to evacuate, and do it safely?”

The Occupational Safety Health Administration (OSHA) defines a workplace emergency as: “An unforeseen situation that threatens your employees, customers, or the public; disrupts or shuts down your operations; or causes physical or environmental damage.”

Emergencies can be natural or manmade and may include the following: fire; explosions; chemical spills; toxic gas releases; radiological accidents; floods; hurricanes; tornadoes; civil disturbances; or workplace violence resulting in bodily harm and trauma.

A disorganized evacuation may result in confusion, injury, property damage, and even death. It is important to remember when developing or reviewing your emergency action plan that it includes specific evacuation procedures, evacuation routes and exits, procedures for assisting people with disabilities, and safe refuge areas for ease of accountability.

The facility manger of your building is required to conduct an annual fire evacuation drill (more often if there is a hazardous process occurring in your workplace) as outlined in Edwards Air Force Base Instruction 32-111, the Edwards AFB Fire Prevention and Protection Program.

If you haven’t recently practiced an evacuation exercise, or what actions to take during an “unforeseen event”; there is no time like the present. When the unimaginable happens, you and your co-workers will be prepared to avoid tragedy. One tragic example where the occupants were ill prepared to evacuate during an emergency event was the World Trade Center bombing of 1993. On Feb. 26, 1993, a truck filled with 1,500 pounds of explosive was detonated in the underground garage. At the time, there was no plan in place on how to evacuate the 50,000 people that worked in these facilities. Six people lost their lives during this attack, and more than one thousand were injured. Many injuries that were experienced during this incident were a result of the panic that spread as the occupants tried to evacuate the facility.

In the wake of the 1993 bombing attack, and the chaotic evacuation which took place that day, the World Trade Center and many of the tenants began to seriously address the lack of emergency procedures. Not only did the tenants repair the damage from the attack, but they made the facility a safer place to work. Elevators and electrical systems were upgraded, along with Life Safety upgrades such as battery-operated emergency lights and luminescent paint in the stairwells. Emergency command centers were established as well.

In 2000, the WTC would reach its highest occupancy rate of all time. Despite the devastating loss of more than 2,750 people, the lessons learned from the 1993 attack played a significant role in evacuating the WTC, when two jets flew into the complex on Sep. 11, 2001, completely destroying both towers, casualties in the South Tower were significantly reduced by some occupants deciding to start evacuating as soon as the North Tower was struck. The 9/11 Commission notes that evacuation below the impact zones was largely a success, allowing most occupants to safely evacuate before the collapse of the WTC. The South Tower saw fewer than half of the number killed than in the North Tower. Without an evacuation plan in place and the practices that had been conducted the number of lives lost, in all probability, would have been much higher.

If you need help with your plan or have any concerns, please contact the EAFB Fire Protection Division’s Technical Service Section at (661) 277-3124, 3643 or 0480.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

News Briefs January 23, 2015

Fitz-Gerald pedestrian crossing work Through next week, road work will be taking place near the Fitz-Gerald Blvd. and Doolittle Parkway intersections, which is located in the housing area near Chapel 2. This work will result in better visibility of the pedestrian crossings and make crossing at these locations easier and safer for all. Fitz-Gerald and...
 
 
juveniel-court

JIC aims to maintain good order, morale, discipline

In the Sept. 9, 2014, Desert Wings, an article titled Vandalism costs school district $12,000.î The story was about damage that occurred at Bailey Elementary School. The 412th Test Wing has taken to address not only that insta...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Scott M. Ash

SecAF, CSAF discuss future of the Air Force

Air Force photograph by Scott M. Ash Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III and Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James deliver their, “State of the Air Force,” press conference Jan. 15, 2015, in Washi...
 

 
Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber

Driving on base could make you eligible for gas tax refund

Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber The state of California may refund taxes paid on gasoline to residents who use the gasoline while driving on a military installation. Claims must be submitted to the California State Contro...
 
 

Air Force senior leadership addresses need to stabilize RPA enterprise

During a State of the Air Force address held at the Pentagon, Jan 15, Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James announced immediate preliminary steps to develop a get-well plan to improve the health of the MQ-1B Predator and MQ-9 Reaper enterprise in light of extensive combatant commander operational needs. (Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance)...
 
 

AFIMSC headquarters site announced

Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas,†was selected as the host base for the Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center Headquarters. Air Force officials chose the installation after analyzing operational considerations, installation attributes, economic and environmental factors at four candidate locations. “Following site surveys at the four candidate locations, we ultimately ...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>