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.


 
 

 

Holiday Hours

Special holiday hours will be in force for 412th Force Support Squadron facilities. The hours are: Thanksgiving Day – Nov. 27 All 412th FSS facilities will be CLOSED except the following: * Aero Club: Flying sunrise to sunset, office closed * Joshua Tree Dining Facility: Brunch 6 a.m.-1 p.m., Dinner 4:30-7 p.m., and Midnight Meal...
 
 

New allotment rule protects troops from lending scams

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has directed a policy change in new paycheck allotments to prevent unscrupulous commercial lenders from taking advantage of troops and their families, Pentagon officials said Nov. 21. According to a Defense Department news release, effective Jan. 1, 2015, the change in DOD’s financial management regulation will prohibit service members from allotting...
 
 

Exchange gift cards personalize holiday care packages

According to a recent National Retail Federation survey, gift cards will be the most requested gift this year with 62 percent preferring a gift card over any other item. For Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines, their gift card of choice is the one that can be redeemed at military exchanges from Okinawa to Oklahoma. The...
 

 

AF closes FY14 force management programs

Airmen who met the service’s reduction in force board were notified of the board’s results Nov. 19, bringing the fiscal year 2014 force management programs to an end. The RIF board selected 354 captains and majors across the Air Force for non-retention, half of the number the service previously projected it would separate. Line of...
 
 

Protecting your identity online

With the internet ever evolving, it has become a great source of communication and a convenient tool. While there are many advantages in using the internet, like online shopping or making charitable donations, there are also countless numbers of unknown, lurking threats. One of luxuries of the internet, and a great service for busy parents,...
 
 

Eagle Eyes promotes community’s involvement in security

Security forces defend the base, but everyone can help ensure Edwards Air Force Base is safe and sound through the Air Force Office of Special Investigations Eagle Eyes program. Law enforcement officers rely on the eyes and ears of the entire community. If Airmen or citizens notice anything out of the norm or suspicious, either...
 




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>