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.


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo by Scott M. Ash

AF Senior leaders give State of the Air Force address

U.S. Air Force photo by Scott M. Ash Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James provides an update with Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III on current Air Force operations during a press briefing in the Pentagon, ...
 
 
weed-zapper

Air Force, Ohio, based business develop chemical-, herbicide-free weed zapper

Good Neighbor, Inc. photograph by Ben Edwards Anyone with a lawn or a beautiful flower or vegetable garden, has surely wondered about the best method of controlling or eliminating weeds. Using chemicals and herbicides can help,...
 
 

U.S. service members receive ‘heroic welcome’ at Ramstein

Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone arrived safely at Ramstein Air Base Aug. 24 via military airlift after receiving emergency medical care for injuries sustained while subduing an armed gunman aboard a French train Aug. 21. “We are grateful for Airman Stone’s quick thinking and courageous actions and are thrilled to have him back safely with...
 

 

Air Force extends SAPR services to AF civilians

The Air Force released a policy memo today allowing Air Force civilian employees who are victims of sexual assault to file restricted and unrestricted reports with their installation’s sexual assault response coordinator. The policy is effective immediately and allows SARCs and sexual assault prevention and response victim advocates to assist Air Force civilians who report...
 
 

Air Force birthday

The Edwards Company Grade Officers’ Council cordially invites you to attend the celebration of the Air Force’s 68th birthday Sept. 18. Dinner will be served at Club Muroc at 5 p.m. Menu consists of spinach stuffed chicken, beef Wellington and grilled vegetables over rice. Uniform is mess dress for military/semi-formal and formal and semi-formal for...
 
 

Personnel Briefs August 21, 2015

Undergrad flying training applications due in November The 2016 Air Force Undergraduate Flying Training selection board will convene Jan. 25-28 to select applicants for 2016-2017 pilot, remotely piloted aircraft, combat systems officer and air battle manager training opportunities. Eligible active duty officers must apply by Nov. 20 and selection results will be released in February...
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>