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June 18 — While the vast majority of employees feel safe at work, about one-quarter (23 percent) would not know what to do to protect themselves if there was an emergency in their office that posed a physical threat, according to a survey released June 18 by CareerBuilder.
The survey of 3,000 full-time U.S. workers, conducted by Harris Poll between February 11 and March 6, 2015, found that 94 percent feel their office is a secure place to work.
• 30 percent do not feel their workplace is well-protected from a physical threat from another person,
• 30 percent feel their workplace is not well-protected from a digital hacking threat,
• 85 percent feel their workplace is well-protected in case of a fire, flood or other disaster, and
• 83 percent feel their workplace is well-protected from weather-related threats.
About a fifth (21 percent) of workers said their company does not have an emergency plan in place in case of fire, flood or other disaster, and 26 percent said the same of extremely severe weather. Even more workers (40 percent) don’t believe their company has an emergency plan in place in case of a physical attack from another person or a technology security breach, the survey found.
“Workplace emergency plans should be treated with just as much importance as any other workplace policy and procedure,” Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder, told Bloomberg BNA June 17. “While it is hoped that these emergency plans never have to be implemented, unfortunately, unforeseen events do happen. It is of the utmost importance that all employees are not only aware of office emergency procedures, but are well-practiced in them so they know what to do to protect themselves and others.”
Haefner said that employees should be educated on emergency policy procedures on a regular basis, have access to materials that explain these procedures, and participate in regular practice drills. “It is also important to post the emergency procedures around the office,” she said, in meeting rooms, break rooms, by the exits and in other areas.
“Training and awareness are an employee’s best defense in the event of an emergency,” Haefner said. “Not only does training employees on emergency plans help ensure employees’ safety and security, but it can also mitigate any potential legal issues that could arise should a company be accused of not doing enough to secure its employees’ safety.”
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