Mock Evacuation drill Promotes Safety Measures
The Limpopo Department of Agriculture (LDA) has conducted the mock evacuation (practice session) at LDA offices on 29 November 2011. This mock drill was preparing LDA officials for emergency. The Sub-Branch, Safety Health Environment Risk and Quality (SHERQ) will carry out this exercise until officials are accustomed to it. The exercise will assist officials to respond to emergency situations that may demand more than physical, mental and emotional energy.
The awareness also seeks to familiarise officials with the equipment and their location in the building. These include fire extinguishers, alarm systems, safety chair, whistle, exit signage boards, first aid boxes, safety boards and access to assembly point. Officials were pleaded to acquaint themselves with those equipment and the under mentioned safety hints by heart for the interest of their own safety and those of their colleagues.
“In addition to the mentioned equipment, an engineer is finalising a floor plan that will detail the movement of officials in case of evacuation,” says an Employee Relations and Wellness Manager, Ms. Mandisa Mawasha.
Addressing the officials who converged at the make-shift assembly point after mock evacuation, Mr April Phaho from Disaster Management at Polokwane Municipality said incidents are not predictable, that is the reason “we undertook this experiment”. He said the standard operational procedure in every institution is similar. “What is done here is applicable to the other institution,” he maintained.
According to Emergency Evacuation guide, the following golden rules must always be applied during emergencies:
- Do not ignore the sound of emergency alarm when it rings, respond immediately and personal belongings should be collected
- Do not run, but remain calm and walk towards the emergency exits and possible safest escape routes
- Do not go back to the office once you are out of the building
- Do not evacuate through windows or lifts, use the emergency exits
- High heeled shoes should be removed
- People with disabilities should remain at agreed safe areas and wait for assistance during evacuation
- If it is fire evacuation, close the windows and doors. And if it is a bomb threat evacuation, open window and doors and crawl on the floor
- At assembly point, report any missing colleague(s) that could have been left behind in the building
- Cooperate and follow instructions of the emergency action team
- Know your emergency action team and their contact numbers