The purpose of this document is to assist departments and crown corporations in developing and implementing their workplace emergency response procedures.
In all circumstances, protecting the life and personal safety of staff, clients and visitors during a fire emergency takes precedence over protecting property. The purpose of this procedure is to outline what to do in the event of a fire.
Sounding the Alarm:
- If you detect fire or smoke, shout "Fire! Fire! Fire!” and pull the nearest fire alarm.
- Call 911 (or appropriate numbers for Police, Fire, Ambulance, etc) if it is safe to do so.
- If you are not in imminent danger report all details of the fire to the Building Warden as quickly as possible.
- Begin evacuating the building without delay.
Evacuate the building as outlined in the Emergency Evacuation Procedure.
After Hours Alarms
If you hear or activate the fire alarm outside regular working hours, briefly check the floor for other people before you evacuate. Do not re-enter the building until authorized by the Fire Department.
Controlling and Extinguishing the Fire
Do not attempt to control or extinguish a fire unless you are trained and have no other course of action to evacuate the building. The personal safety of staff is more important than any property loss.
2. Medical Emergency
A medical emergency refers to any situation in which a person(s) requires medical intervention or where a death has occurred. Medical emergencies include complications from medical conditions, work injuries, violent incidents, or other unforeseen events. Having trained staff and effective emergency response procedures will reduce the impact of a medical emergency on the individual and the organization.
- The DM/President will ensure there are the required number of trained First Aid Attendants available at all times.
- Names of First Aid Attendants will be posted in prominent places (Health and Safety Bulletin Board, kitchen) and near the First Aid kits.
First Aid Kits:
- There are (insert the number of first aid kits) available for First Aid Attendants to administer first aid. One kit will is located (insert the location) and the second kit is located (insert the location).
- First Aid Kits will be maintained by the on-call First Aid Attendant.
- First Aid Attendants will request replacement items for the first aid kits from (determine whom and insert the position name).
- The (determine whom and insert the position name) will forward replacement items to the First Aid Attendant for restocking of the First Aid Kit.
If you are the first person on the scene of a medical emergency:
- Ensure your own safety as you approach the scene by making sure that there is no hazard to you.
- Once you consider the scene safe, administer first aid if qualified to do so.
- If you are not qualified to administer first aid yell for help.
- When help arrives, ask them to call the First Aid Attendant and report back to confirm that the First Aid Attendant is on his/her way.
- If you believe at any time during the medical emergency that the person needs emergency medical services, call 9-911 (or appropriate numbers for Police, Fire, Ambulance, etc) as outlined in the emergency reporting procedure. Stay with the person until the First Aid Attendant arrives.
- Follow instructions of the First Aid Attendant.
- Call 9-911 (or appropriate numbers for Police, Fire, Ambulance, etc) according to the emergency reporting procedure if requested by the First Aid Attendant and not done already.
- Report back to the First Aid Attendant to confirm that an ambulance is on its way.
- Complete a "MINOR or SERIOUS Incident and Near Miss Investigation and Reporting" form (type to be determined based on the incident) after you are no longer needed by the First Aid Attendant or Ambulance Attendant.
First Aid Attendant:
- When called, retrieve the First Aid Kit and go to the scene as quickly as possible.
- Assess and control any hazards.
- Administer first aid and call for emergency medical services, as required.
- Report relevant information to the Ambulance Attendant, as required.
- Log the incident in the First Aid book and complete any other required reporting (e.g., Workers' Report of Injury in the case of a workplace injury).
- Meet with other First Aid Attendants after any emergency to debrief.
All Other Staff:
- Stay away from the area.
- Await instructions.
First Aid Book:
- A first aid book will be kept with the on-call First Aid Attendant.
- Entries will be made by the on-call First Aid Attendant only.
- Information in the first aid book is considered confidential and to be reviewed only by those authorized to do so (i.e., other First Aid Attendants, Safety Committee members and management personnel).
3. Violent Incidents and Threats
Injuries from violent incidents and threats are a serious hazard that we face working at YG (insert department/crown corporation).
The majority of potential violent situations will be managed using skills acquired through training and safe work practices and/or safe job procedures procedures. Unfortunately, there may be some situations that cannot be controlled where staff will be faced with threats and violence. These procedures focus on how to recognize when a person has crossed the line and how to safely disengage from that violent person.
An incident is an event or series of events that:
- causes an individual to feel that personal safety is compromised; or
- results in physical harm or loss to an individual.
A threat can be an implied or can be an actual act or behaviour intended to inflict injury or pain.
Violence is characterized through acts of aggression, intimidation, abuse, and outrage, resulting in physical force being unlawfully exercised or an act tending to cause bodily injury or damage to property. Incidents of violence may include assault, damage of property, display and/or use of weapon and extortion.
Who to call:
- Physical violence and threats are violations of the criminal code and must be reported to the police.
- If safe to do so, immediately report the incident to your supervisor who will contact the police.
- Contact 9-911 (or appropriate numbers for Police, Fire, Ambulance, etc) using the Emergency Reporting Procedure at any time that you feel your personal safety is compromised.
Behaviour and signs to consider in every contact situation:
Evaluate each situation for the following behaviours for the potential of escalating violence:
Evaluate each situation for the following signs of potential violence:
- Hands - made into fists, wringing or holding hands behind back.
- Eyes - bloodshot, dilated pupils or "1000 yard stare".
- Feet - tapping, fidgeting or "drag and set".
- Opening space - opens space between them and you.
- Closing space - invades personal or intimate space.
- Natural movements - use of natural movements to distract just prior to violence.
If you are threatened or fear your personal security:
- Maintain your professional face (don't show personal emotion).
- Maintain a bladed stance (staggered stance with feet shoulder width apart) and a safe distance.
- Explain to the person that what they are asking for is beyond your authority.
- Tell them you know where your supervisor is and that you can get them to come and speak to the person.
- Ask for their cooperation.
If the individual refuses to cooperate:
- Explain that you are required to call police.
- Give them options on how to leave. Tell them:
- It would be ideal if they left now and police can question them privately.
- It would be embarrassing to have them escorted out by police or in handcuffs.
- To leave now and without any further incident as it would be good for everyone.
If the individual cooperates:
- Leave the area.
- Go get your supervisor and inform them of the situation.
- Call 9-911 (or appropriate numbers for Police, Fire, Ambulance, etc) following emergency reporting procedures.
- The supervisor will go see the client, introduce themselves, explain the police have been contacted, and give options around how the person can leave.
- The supervisor may offer to schedule a meeting for another time.
- If the individual agrees to cooperate, the supervisor must escort the person to the door.
If individual continues to refuse or if you are attacked physically:
- Defend yourself from the attack.
- Leave the room as quickly as possible.
- Warn others in the area of the problem as you leave the area for a safe place.
- Shout for someone to call 9-911 (or appropriate numbers for Police, Fire, Ambulance, etc) or if necessary, do it yourself when it is safe to do so.
If you are threatened or attacked and prevented from leaving the room:
- This situation is considered a hostage taking.
- Follow the procedures for being held hostage (number 4. in this document).
If you witness a coworker being threatened or being physically attacked:
- Immediately contact 9-911 (or appropriate numbers for Police, Fire, Ambulance, etc), as quickly and discretely as possible.
- Warn others in the area to leave to a safe place.
- Approach the interview room or office and offer support to your colleague if it is safe to do so.
All other staff:
- Leave the area and go to a safe place.
- Do not gather around the situation to observe.
- Do not stand and overlook the area from a distance.
After a threat or violent incident:
- Report all incidents of threats and violence using the "SERIOUS" incident and near miss reporting process.
- DM/President/Senior Management (each department or crown corporation to determine) will coordinate follow-up actions with the police.
4. Hostage Taking
Hostage situations may occur from spontaneous escalations of difficult situations between staff and emotionally disturbed clients, coworkers or family members. Hostage taking is a situation in which a person(s) is (are) detained against their will by another person(s). The outcome of a hostage taking incident can range from surrender without incident to death of the hostage and hostage taker. This procedure is designed to provide guidelines on how to respond to hostage situations that will offer the highest level of protection to staff.
If you are taken hostage:
- Do everything the hostage taker tells you.
- Remain calm, and be patient. Observe both the hostage-taker(s) and any other hostages.
- Tell the hostage-taker(s) if you require any special medication.
- If the hostage-taker(s) orders you to make or answer phone calls, be brief.
- At the first opportunity following release, report to your Supervisor or the President.
- Immediately record all incident details, being objective, detailed and descriptive. Such written documentation could be of great assistance for investigative purposes.
- Await instructions - be prepared to cooperate with authorities.
Behavioural Guidelines for Hostage Victims:
- Speak only when spoken to.
- Be courteous and genuine.
- Do not use humor or sarcasm.
- Do not show your emotions.
- Maintain face to face contact, unless otherwise directed.
- Be patient. Even though it may appear that little is being done, the police and others will be working hard to have you (and others) released, unharmed.
If you become aware that a person(s) has been taken hostage:
- Under no circumstances shall an employee, who has knowledge of any person(s) having been taken hostage, deal with a hostage taker alone.
- Immediately contact 9-911 (or appropriate numbers for Police, Fire, Ambulance, etc) according to the emergency reporting procedures. Provide all known incident details (location, number of people involved, any weapons involved, etc.).
- Notify your Supervisor or the DM/President or Senior Manager, and no one else.
- Notify the DM/President/Senior Manager.
- Ensure 9-911 (or appropriate numbers for Police, Fire, Ambulance, etc) has been called.
- Await instructions and follow them.
- Be prepared to evacuate and cooperate with authorities.
- Meet with emergency service personnel to determine the best plan of action to deal with the hostage situation and the safety of the rest of the staff.
- Cooperate with authorities.
- Keep other staff informed.
- Notify the Minister.
- Arrange critical incident stress management intervention.
All other staff:
- Stay away from the affected area and wait for instructions.
- Be prepared to evacuate.
After the incident:
- All staff including those directly and indirectly involved will require some level of critical incident stress management.
- Professional intervention will be arranged or delegated by the DM/President/Senior Manager.
5. Bomb Threat and Finding Suspicious Parcels
Bomb threats are a risk to a public organization. There are three likely explanations for receiving a bomb threat.
First, the caller has definite knowledge or believes that an explosive or incendiary device has been or will be placed in an area and wants to minimize personal injury or property damage. The caller may be the person who placed the device or someone else who has become aware of such information.
Second, the caller wants to create an atmosphere of anxiety and panic, which will possibly result in disruption of the normal activities at the target area. When a threat has been received, there will be a reaction to it. If the call is directed to a target area where a vacuum in leadership exists or where there has been no organized advance planning to handle such a threat, the call may well result in panic.
Finally, the caller wants to bring about or amplify a lack of confidence in existing leadership or programs. By injecting panic into normal operational situation through fear of the known or unknown, the caller may achieve his or her ultimate goals; i.e., an increased potential for personal injury, property damage, evacuation or shutdown which results in economic loss to the organization.
Organization and planning efforts must be conducted in advance to handle bomb threats, confusion and panic. If we are prepared, bomb threats and finding suspicious parcels can be resolved with a minimum of exposure to personal injury and property damage.
Person receiving a bomb threat by phone:
- It is important for the person receiving the call to attempt to keep the caller on the telephone as long as possible, listen carefully to all information provided and to make note of any voice characteristics, accents or background noise.
- A bomb threat checklist has been devised to assist staff when receiving a bomb threat. The "Bomb Threat Checklist" must be kept where you can easily reach it when you are on the telephone. Follow the instructions outlined in the Bomb Threat Checklist.
- Immediately after the call is terminated contact 9-911 (or appropriate numbers for Police, Fire, Ambulance, etc) according to the "Emergency Reporting Procedures.
- Notify your Supervisor. If not available contact the Director of your Branch. Do not tell anyone else until instructed to do so by your Supervisor or Director.
- If instructed to evacuate, follow "Emergency Evacuation Procedures."
Characteristics of suspicious packages and envelopes
Look for inappropriate or unusual labeling characteristics:
- Excessive postage
- Handwritten or poorly typed addresses
- Misspellings of common words
- Strange return address or no return address
- Incorrect titles or title without a name
- Not addressed to a specific person
- Marked with restrictions such as "Personal," "Confidential," or "Do not x-ray"
- Marked with any threatening language
- Postmarked from a city or other location that does not match the return address
Look for unusual pack appearance characteristics:
- Powdery substance felt through or appearing on the package or envelope
- Oily stains, discolorations, or odor
- Lopsided or uneven envelope
- Excessive packaging material such as masking tape, string, etc
Look for other suspicious signs:
- Excessive weight
- Ticking sound
- Protruding wires or aluminum foil
Person finding a suspicious parcel
- Under no circumstances will any YG employee attempt to touch, move or dispose of a suspicious object on YG premises.
- Do not shake or empty the contents of any suspicious package or envelope.
- Do not carry the package or envelope, show it to others or allow others to examine it.
- Put the package or envelope down on a stable surface; do not sniff, touch, taste, or look closely at it or at any contents which may have spilled.
- Alert others in the area about the suspicious package or envelope. Leave the area, close any doors, and take actions to prevent others from entering the area. If possible, shut off the ventilation system.
- WASH hands with soap and water to prevent spreading potentially infectious material to face or skin. Seek additional instructions for exposed or potentially exposed persons.
- Notify your Supervisor so the reception area may be closed to minimize any risk to the public.
- Await instructions. If told to evacuate, follow specific instructions, as the usual evacuation procedures may not apply. You may be asked to take your briefcase, purse or other personal belongings with you.
- Meet with emergency services personnel to determine the best course of action.
- Instruct staff according to directions of emergency personnel.
- If instructed to evacuate, follow evacuation procedures.
All YG Employees:
- Stay in your work area, unless instructed otherwise by your Supervisor. Look around your work area for any suspicious packages.
- If you find something do not touch it. Report anything unusual to the Floor Warden, your supervisor or emergency personnel.
- If instructed to evacuate, follow "Emergency Evacuation Procedures."
Building and Floor Wardens:
Employees who agree to assist in a bomb search:
Employees asked to assist in the bomb search have the "right to refuse" under Yukon OHS Act, Section 15.
Employees who agree must follow these instructions, unless other instructions are given at the time:
- Begin on the floor (carpet) and search the room’s perimeter clockwise up to waist level. Continue in a clockwise direction to above your head until the entire area has been searched. Search with your eyes only.
- Notify your Supervisor if you discover anything suspicious or out of the ordinary.
- (Remain in your work area.) Wait for further instructions.
- Do not evacuate until and unless you are instructed to do so.
- Keep all personal briefcases, knapsacks, parcels and purses with you.
Whitehorse lies on a combination of fault lines, or continental plate boundaries, which ultimately puts Whitehorse at a major risk for earthquakes, according to Emergency Preparedness Canada.
If the epicenter of the earthquake is very close, a loud crack may be heard as the earth shifts. If it is farther away, there may be a loud noise or rumbling, like the rushing of a train. Typically, the initial swaying is followed by the shaking, then a rolling motion that rotates up, down and sideways. It can last from seconds to minutes.
The actual movement of the ground seldom causes injuries, but rather the falling objects and debris cause most casualties.
Aftershocks frequently occur, often hours to days later, as the earth adjusts to the initial shift.
- Keep large or heavy objects close to the floor.
- Anchor all shelving and large items to the wall, where possible.
- Ensure that pictures and mirrors are secured to the walls.
- Ensure all cabinets have latches that will keep the door closed during shaking.
- Be aware of the safe spots in your department, such as the stable desks or tables, and locations away from potential falling objects.
If you are inside during the shaking:
- Stay inside. Do not attempt to exit.
- Move away from windows and mirrors that may shatter, and objects that may fall, such as file cabinets, unattached shelving, bookcases, etc.
- Crawl under a strong table, counter or desk if possible. Do not stand in a doorway if there is the possibility that the door will slam/close on you.
- Drop to your knees and cover your head and neck with your hands.
- Do not use the elevator.
If you are outside during the shaking:
- Stay outside.
- Move away from the building and power lines.
- Avoid overhanging structures.
- Remain in your location until the shaking stops.
After the shaking:
- Expect aftershocks.
- Check for fire, electrical and other hazards. Follow the usual procedure for fire (as per #1. of this document). Call (determine appropriate person and insert job title) to inform them of electrical problems or other building related problems.
- Account for all staff and visitors. If someone is missing, the Building Warden will search as soon as it is safe to do so.
- The Building Warden is to check for people who may be trapped, inspect all rooms, starting with offices and bathrooms. Leave doors to rooms open (unless there is a fire).
- Assess if anyone is injured and provide medical assistance where required.
- Check telephone lines and notify Information Systems if there are problems. Minimize telephone and cell use.
- Do not evacuate, but check to ensure the routes are clear.
- Conserve water. Do not flush the toilets.
- Assess further damage in your unit. Use caution when opening doors to rooms or cupboards, as objects may fall. Post signs indicating dangerous areas and notify your Supervisor of unsafe situations.
If you are NOT at Work:
- Ensure your family is safe.
- Listen to any radio station for information.
Whitehorse is built on a flood plain of the Yukon River downstream of a hydro-electric dam. In most cases, the dam controls the flow of water and will protect us from the potential of seasonal flooding from ice jams or unusual weather patterns. In the extreme event of a dam failure a flood will happen.
A flood is a community emergency. The Yukon Emergency Measures Organization (EMO) is the lead agency when a flood occurs. They will provide leadership and direction on how to respond.
- Any staff that learns of a flood emergency will immediately contact the DM/President or designate.
- Assign the EMO coordinator to contact EMO for information.
- Assemble staff and inform them of the situation and what is being done.
- Assess the situation according to information available from EMO and make the decision for staff to stay or to evacuate to higher ground.
- Assemble staff in a suitable location to instruct staff on how to proceed.
- Contact EMO at 667-5220 for information about the flood.
- Relay info to the DM/President/Designate as quickly as possible.
- Assemble as quickly as possible to the location identified by the President.
- Await instructions.
- Obey any orders to evacuate.
- Assist other staff who may need transportation if the order to evacuate is given.
8. Active Shooter
An "Active Shooter" is an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area.
Prior to the arrival of police personnel, how you respond to an active shooter will be dictated by the specific circumstances of the encounter. If you find yourself in an active shooter situation, try to remain as calm as possible and use these suggested actions to help you plan a strategy for survival. Keep in mind, the entire area is still a crime scene.
Active Shooter Outside Building:
- Go to a room that can be locked or barricaded by using available material.
- Close the window blinds, turn off the lights and get everyone down of the floor so that no one is visible from outside the room.
- Spread out and seek concealment behind walls, desks, file cabinets, etc.
- Have someone call 9-911 (or appropriate number for Police, Fire, Ambulance, etc) when you reach the dispatcher, follow the Emergency Reporting Procedure . Be aware that the 911 system will most likely be overwhelmed.
- Remain in place until police give the 'All Clear.' Unfamiliar voices may be the shooter attempting to lure victims from their safe space; do not respond to any voice commands until you can verify with certainty that they are being issued by a police officer.
Active Shooter Inside Building:
- If possible, secure the room you are in by either locking or barricading the door using available material and follow the same procedures described above.
- If you cannot secure the room, determine if there is a nearby location that you are able to reach safely and then secure or if you can safely exit the building.
Active Shooter Inside Room:
- If the active shooter enters your office or classroom, there are no set procedures. The decision to flee or seek shelter inside the room can only be made by you and is dependent upon the circumstances.
- Try to remain calm, it will aid you in decision making.
- Call 9-911 (or appropriate number for Police, Fire, Ambulance, etc) if possible, and alert police to the shooter's location.
- If you can't speak, leave the line open so the dispatcher can hear what is taking place. Usually the location of a caller can be determined without speaking.
- If there is absolutely no opportunity of escape or concealment and the shooter is not actively firing on victims it might be possible to negotiate with the shooter.
- If the shooter has fired on victims you are faced with a life or death situation; only you can consider your next course of action.
- After all other options have been exhausted, you may be faced with the decision to overpower the shooter with force by whatever means necessary.
Active Shooter Leaves Room
- If the shooter leaves the area and the environment appears safe, proceed immediately to a safer place.
- Do not touch anything that was in the area of the shooter because of the possibility of explosives being left and the destruction of crucial evidence.
What You Should Do:
- Make sure you have an escape route in mind.
- Do not attempt to carry anything in your hands while fleeing; move quickly.
- Keep your hands visible, and follow instructions given by any police officers you may encounter.
- If you know where the shooter is located, tell the officers.
- Remain at the designated assembly point until you have been released.
- Do not leave until told it is safe to do so by police.
- Do not try to move any injured people; leave them where they are and notify authorities of their location as soon as possible.
What You Should Expect:
- Responding police officers are trained to proceed immediately to the area where the shots were last heard; their purpose is to stop the shooting as quickly as possible.
- The first officers to arrive will not stop to aid injured victims; rescue teams composed of additional officers will follow the first team into secured areas and remove injured persons.
- Do as the officers tell you and do not be afraid of them.
9. Chemical Incident
The response to a chemical spill or an accidental release of a hazardous substance will be determined by Management. Any response shall be based on an assessment of the threat to health and safety of building personnel and shall include reference to the appropriate WHMIS Material Safety Data Sheets.
If you discover a chemical accident:
- Do not go near the chemical.
- Warn other employees in the immediate vicinity.
- Inform your Director/Manager and your Building Marshal.
- Evacuate to the Marshaling Area and await further instructions.
If you discover a chemical accident after hours:
- Call the Spill Line at 9-667-7244. Speak slowly and clearly. Tell them what you have discovered.
- Evacuate the building using the nearest safe exit stairwell.
- Call the Whitehorse Fire Department at 9-911 (or appropriate number for Police, Fire, Ambulance, etc) and follow the "Emergency Reporting Procedure."
If a chemical fire occurs:
- Remain calm
- Pull the fire alarm
- If the fire is small and you are appropriately trained, put it out with a fire extinguisher - DO NOT jeopardize your or your co-workers personal safety.
- NEVER allow the fire to come between you and the exit.
- Evacuate the area.
- Building Marshals will sweep the workplace - they are trained to do so.
- If you evacuate the area, close doors and windows behind you to confine the fire, if it is safe to do so.
- Go to the designated Muster Location
- break windows as oxygen will fuel the fire
- return to your office to retrieve your possessions
- leave the muster area until instructed to do so
- return to the building until instructed to do so
- speak to the media unless you are assigned to the task
10. Power Failure
If the power goes out:
- Remain calm. Emergency lighting will come on.
- Turn off non-essential equipment. Time permitting, save documents and shut-down computers.
- Remain at work unless instructed otherwise.
If an explosion occurs in the vicinity of your work station:
- Take immediate shelter. Tables, desks, or other objects will offer protection against flying glass or debris. Protect your face and head with your arms.
- Remain under cover until the effects of the explosion have subsided.
- Activate the nearest fire alarm pull station.
- Notify the Fire Department at 9-911(or appropriate number for Police, Fire, Ambulance, etc).
- Check to ensure the exit stairwell is free of obstruction & evacuate the building.
- If you require special assistance, make your way to your predetermined rendezvous point. You will be assisted.
If an explosion occurs on another floor:
Remain at your work station until alarm bells sound or until ordered to evacuate the building by your Building Marshal.
If an explosion occurs after hours: Follow the same procedures as you would during normal working hours.
The response to a demonstration in this building will vary according to the number of participants and the atmosphere in which it occurs.
If a demonstration occurs outside the building:
- Do not involve yourself with the demonstration either verbally or physically.
- If the demonstrators bar your entry to the building, withdraw and inform your supervisor, according to your unit’s business communication plan, that you can not enter the building.
- Wait until the police arrive to clear a path through the demonstrators.
If the building is occupied by the demonstrators:
- Immediately lock up any security-classified and designated material or other valuables according to your unit’s business continuity plan.
- Do not say or do anything that will agitate the occupiers.
- Do not attempt to physically restrain the occupiers.
- Wait for instructions from your supervisor or manager