Emergency Response Plan
Checker Flag is committed to supporting the welfare of its employees and visitors to the premises. The purpose of Checker Flag Emergency Response Plan is to ensure human safety, minimize damage to property, and assure rapid and responsive communication to all parties involved. This Plan has been created to address, in a coordinated and systematic manner, all types of emergencies affecting Checker Flag.
This Plan will establish processes and procedures for appropriate responses to major emergencies, and assign roles and responsibilities for the implementation and execution of the Plan in the event of an emergency or catastrophe. The guidelines shown in this Plan are intended to keep employees of Checker Flag prepared should Checker Flag premises and/or facilities become unsafe due to calamity.
*This policy is in compliance with Ontario Regulation 191/11 Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 .
Fire and/or smoke – Any conflagration (fire) of combustible materials at Checker Flag causing danger of burns from fire or suffocation/choking from smoke inhalation. This can also include fires nearby where there is a clear danger of the fire spreading to the Company’s premises or causing the air to become un-breathable due to smoke.
Natural disaster or severe weather – This is a broad term meaning any emergency caused by inclement weather conditions or tectonic activity. Natural disasters include tornados, floods, earthquakes, mudslides, hurricanes, lightning strikes, avalanches, blizzards, ice storms, severe thunderstorms, and so on. In some cases, natural disaster may also include excessive periods of intensely cold weather, or excessive periods of intensely hot and/or humid weather.
Chemical, biological, or radiological incidents – This may include a release of toxic chemicals or other dangerous agents within the vicinity of Checker Flag premises, including natural gas leaks; the release of harmful bacteria, viruses, or other biological dangers; release of or exposure to radioactive materials.
Structural failures – This term encompasses any damage to Checker Flag property or premises that causes unsafe conditions due to structural failure. Failures or pending failures include (but are not limited to) bomb threats, collapsed walls, ceilings, or foundations, burst water mains, electrical power outages, and so on.
In general, Checker Flag employees must report an emergency event immediately to their supervisor, the Office Manager, Human Resources, or other appropriate authority.
Once the emergency has been ascertained, response/assessment team will be the first to respond to the incident. They will assess the severity of the emergency and communicate immediately with assigned groups as appropriate. The response/assessment team is composed of the Joint Health and Safety Committee Members of each Division who will coordinate and instruct co-workers. The JHSC Members will coordinate emergency and/or evacuation efforts within their areas of responsibility.
Not all emergencies will require the same level of response. Appropriate responses will be dictated by the severity of the event and its effect on the health and safety of employees, visitors, and property. Only the Emergency Response Coordinator, Kavita Phull or an appointed designee has the authority to declare a state of emergency for Checker Flag and can activate this Plan.
For the purposes of this Plan, Checker Flag defines “emergency ” as an instance, or combination of instances, of unsafe conditions that pose a threat to people or property, and include: instances of fire and/or smoke; natural disaster/severe weather; chemical, biological or radiological incidents; and structural failures.
*Responsibilities in an emergency are delegated amongst various response/assessment team members, as indicated in Checker Flag Emergency Response/Assessment Teams Checklist and The Emergency Procedures Checklist.
Fire and/or Smoke
The primary purpose of the Fire Procedure is to provide a course of action for all personnel to follow in the event of a fire or smoke emergency.
- Rescue anyone in immediate danger.
- Alert employees of the fire and its location. Activate the nearest fire alarm.
- Contact the local fire department by calling 911 and follow any and all instructions. Assign someone to guide the response personnel directly to the fire.
- Contain the fire if it is relatively safe to do so. Close all doors, fire doors, and windows near the fire. Shut off all fans, ventilators, and air conditioners.
- Extinguish the fire if it is small. Obtain the nearest fire extinguisher and pull out the safety pin. Aim the fire extinguisher nozzle low, at the base of the fire, depress the trigger, and move nozzle move slowly upward with a sweeping motion.
- Do not aim nozzle at the middle or the top of the flames.
- If fire cannot be extinguished, evacuate the building immediately.
- Keep low to the floor to avoid inhaling smoke
- If the fire cannot be safely extinguished using available fire extinguishers, evacuate the premises immediately using the nearest and safest exit.
- Close all doors behind you as you leave.
- Report to the designated “Emergency Evacuation Area” (Large rock across the driveway from the building).
- Immediately report any employee(s), customer(s), visitor(s), contractor(s) or individual(s) who have remained in the building or refused to leave.
- Do not return until it has been declared safe to do so by the Fire Department.
If you are unable to leave your work station, or have returned to it due to fire or heavy smoke:
- Close all doors to prevent the entry of smoke and fire.
- Dial 911 to notify the authorities and inform them of who and where you are.
- Signal to the Fire Fighters, by any means possible, to draw attention to you.
- If possible, seal all cracks where smoke can get in.
- Crouch low to the floor if smoke begins to enter your area.
- Move to the nearest protected location in the room or area.
- Wait to be rescued and remain calm.
- Do not leave the area.
- Do not panic or jump.
- Listen for instructions or information which may be given by authorized personnel.
Natural Disaster or Severe Weather
The primary purpose of the Natural Disaster/Severe Weather Procedure is to inform employees and visitors of any serious weather conditions that warrant their attention. A “weather watch” means that conditions are favorable for severe weather to develop. A “weather warning” means that severe weather has been sighted in the vicinity.
- Account for all employees and visitors, ensuring that everyone is inside the facility. Close all windows and close all curtains and/or blinds.
- Close all windows, curtains and blinds and instruct all employees and visitors to move away from windows.
- If necessary, gather employees and visitors into the basement, or, if no basement is available, into bathrooms or other enclosed area.
- Listen to all weather reports for updates. Do not leave the basement or enclosed area until the weather warning has been lifted.
- Stay calm. Encourage others to stay calm also.
- Have portable radios available, along with extra batteries.
- Be prepared for isolation at the premises. Ensure that emergency equipment and supplies are available, or can be readily obtained.
Chemical, Biological, or Radiological
The purpose of the Chemical, Biological, or Radiological Procedure is to inform employees and visitors of the steps that should be taken in the event that a contaminant, virus, or other harmful agent poses an immediate threat.
- Call 911 and report the situation and follow any instructions given.
- Notify managers, Office Manager, and Human Resources immediately.
- Commence evacuation procedures.
The purpose of this procedure is to inform employees or visitors of precautions to be taken in the event of a structural failure.
- In the event of a power outage, gather flashlights and other needed supplies. Check on all employees and visitors to ensure their safety. Ensure all backup or emergency lighting is fully operational. If the power outage is prolonged, consult with managers to consider dismissing employees for the remainder of the day.
- In the case of water, heat, or other utility disruptions, all attempts will be made to determine the cause of the disruption and the probable length of shutdown. Where required, the local utility provider shall be contacted to assess and resolve the situation. If the shutdown is prolonged, consult with management to consider dismissing employees for the day.
Employee/Visitor Evacuation Procedure
In the event that Checker Flag declares that an evacuation of the premises is necessary in response to an emergency situation, employees/visitors are required to follow the steps below:
- Stop working and shut down any equipment in use.
- Proceed to posted emergency exit, following posted evacuation route(s).
- Use stairwells instead of elevators.
- Touch doorknobs/door handles carefully to check for heat.
- Proceed to designated meeting area (unless otherwise instructed).
Employees/Visitor with Disabilities Evacuation Procedure
In the event that Checker Flag declares that an evacuation of the premises is necessary in response to an emergency situation, people with disabilities may or may not require assistance to safely exit the premises. A viable plan may simply be to ask the person with the disability if they require assistance to safety exit the building.
- If someone refuses your help, wait for first responders to arrive, unless it is a matter of life or death.
- Do not touch the person, their service animal or equipment without their permission, unless it is a matter of life or death.
- Follow instructions posted on the individual’s special needs equipment.
- Ask the person if areas of their body have reduced sensation and if they want you to check those areas for injuries.
- Do not try to move someone unless you are trained in proper techniques.
- If the person has a service animal, it is the animal owner’s responsibility to assess whether or not it is safe for the animal to work through the emergency situation.
- To make this decision, the service animal owner will need information as to the nature of the hazards they are expected to face and any changes to the physical environment.
- If providing sighted assistance, the first responder or caregiver should confirm that the service animal is then not working, and is therefore off duty.
Mobility limitations may make it difficult for a person to use stairs or to move quickly over long distances. Limitations may include reliance on mobility equipment such as a wheelchair, walker, crutches or a walking cane. People with a heart condition or respiratory difficulties may also have limited mobility.
- Try to ensure that the person’s wheelchair is transported with the person.
- If this is not possible, employ other evacuation techniques as appropriate, such as use of the evacuation chair.
- Do not push or pull a person’s wheelchair without their permission, unless it is a matter of life or death.
Individuals with non-visible disabilities may have difficulty performing some tasks even though their condition is not apparent. Non-visible disabilities can include communication, cognitive, sensory, mental health, learning or intellectual disabilities which may impair an individual’s response to an emergency. Conditions can include allergies, epilepsy, diabetes, pulmonary or heart disease, and/or dependency on dialysis, different supplies, etc.
- Allow the person to describe the help they need.
- Find effective ways to communicate, such as drawn or written instructions, using landmarks instead of general terms like “go left” or “turn right”.
- Maintain eye contact when speaking to the person.
- Repeat instructions (if needed).
- If a person needs to take medication, ask if he/she needs help taking it. (Never offer medicine not prescribed by a physician.)
The way that emergency warnings are issued in an emergency is critical to the understanding of instructions and the subsequent response and safety of those with hearing loss.
- Get the person’s attention via a visual cue or a gentle touch on their arm. Do not approach the person from behind.
- Face the person, make eye contact when speaking to them as they may rely on lip reading and communicate in close proximity.
- Speak clearly and naturally. Do not shout or speak unnaturally slowly.
- Try to rephrase, rather than repeating yourself.
- Use gestures to help illustrate your meaning.
- If there is time, it may be helpful to write a message.
- Hearing aids amplify sounds and can create a physical shock to the user, so do not make loud noises.
- Note that some people may be deaf-blind.
A person who is blind or has reduced vision may have difficulty reading signs or moving through unfamiliar environments during an emergency. They may feel lost and/or dependent on others for guidance.
- For people who are deaf-blind, draw an “X” on their back with your finger to let them know you can help them.
- To communicate with someone who is deaf-blind, trace letters in their hand with your finger.
- To guide a person, keep half a step ahead, offer them your arm and walk at their pace.
- Do not shout at a person who is blind or has reduced vision. Speak clearly and provide specific directions.
- Provide advance warning of upcoming stairs, major obstacles or changes in direction.
- Watch for obstacles that the person could walk into.
- Never grab a person with vision loss, unless it is a matter of life or death.
- Do not assume that the person cannot see you.
- Avoid the term “over there”; describe positions such as, “to your right / left / straight ahead / behind you”, or by using the clock face positions (i.e., the exit is at 12 o’clock).
- If the person has a service animal on duty, ask them where you should walk to avoid distracting the animal. Do not separate the service animal from its owner.
In the unlikely event of a bomb threat, it is impossible to discern valid threats from hoaxes. Therefore, all threats will be treated as real in order to protect lives and property, and the premises shall be evacuated immediately.
Missing Employee/Visitor Procedure
The purpose of the Missing Employee/Visitor Procedure is to ensure that all necessary steps are taken in the event that the whereabouts of an employee or visitor identified in the Visitors Log cannot be accounted for during an emergency.
- Employees will be directed by the response/assessment team member to systematically search the premises, both inside and outside (if safe to do so), including rooms, bathrooms, offices, and other areas.
- Should a search of the premises prove unsuccessful, the response/assessment team member shall notify local law enforcement by calling 911. Give a description of the missing person, or a photograph (if available). The authorities will assume control of the search from this point.
- The family and/or responsible party of the missing person shall also be notified. Explain what is being done to find the missing person and that the local law enforcement has been notified as well.
- All previously contacted persons and law enforcement shall be notified if the missing person turns up due to search, or of their own accord.
Checker Flag is dedicated to ensuring the Health and Safety of all of our employees, volunteers, visitors, customers and guests. As such, we will provide our Emergency Response Plan in a format that takes into consideration individual needs.
It is critical that all of our employees, volunteers, visitors, customers and guests know and understand our Emergency Response Plan, if the information provided to you is unclear or is in a format that prevents you from fully knowing and understanding our process, please contact the following person as soon as possible:
Telephone: (905) 670-4133 x273
In person: 5 – 5845 Luke Road
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Checker Flag will work with the individual, as soon as practicable, to indentify solutions and options that take into consideration their needs. Alternative options include, but are not limited to:
- Enlarged text;
- Communication support either in person or over the phone;
- Documents provided via email.
If requested, and upon approval by the individual, the individual Emergency Response and Fire Evacuation Plan shall be shared with the person designated to provide assistance to the individual.
Updated: December 2014
Human Resources Department