Are you prepared for a power outage in your workplace? A power outage is when the electrical power goes out unexpectedly. Because this often occurs without advanced notice, it may be inconvenient and create a potentially hazardous work environment and cause panic among workers. Taking steps to create a safe and productive work environment should prepare employees to remain calm and know what to do during a power outage.

Discussion Points:
• Are you prepared for a power outage?
• Prepare a safe and productive work environment
• Remain calm during a power outage
• During a power outage, follow the Emergency Action Plan guidelines
• Communicate with co-workers and your supervisor

Become familiar with the company’s emergency action plan; know the location of emergency supplies such as batteries, battery-powered radio, flashlights, first aid supplies, and water; put together an emergency kit for at least three days. Have a fully-charged cell phone that can be used as a hot-spot in case the internet is to go down; keep vehicle gas tanks full; research the location of emergency shelters, and review the CDC’s guidelines. Learn about actions that should be taken when the power goes out. Know how to manually open and close power-operated doors and gates. Turn off and unplug computers and other electric-powered equipment to avoid damage caused by electrical surges or spikes. Employers may require employees to remain at work if a power outage occurs. Depending on the road conditions, it may be necessary to eliminate travel. If there is advanced notice of an approaching storm, the employer may send the employees home early to wait out the storm.

Have the employees return to work after the power has been restored or return on the next workday. If employees remain at work and can safely perform their job tasks without power, they may do so. If the employee is required to remain at the workplace but is not able to perform any work, the employer is required to pay employees for their time while waiting for the power to be restored.

Always follow the company’s safety procedures and policies to prevent accidents and injuries. If at any time it is determined that the work environment is not safe, follow the Emergency Action Plan guidelines. Remember safety always comes first!

As always, stay safe out there!