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Preparing staff for tent site emergencies

Management, Safety & Codes | October 1, 2010 | By:

Q: How should I prepare my staff for an emergency on a tent site?

A: The nature of an emergency is that it arises unexpectedly. Developing a set of guidelines for staff to follow if an emergency occurs under at tent or on a job site will assist them in efficiently responding—and keeping themselves and guests safe. Tents Unlimited, Marietta, Ga., recently hosted the IFAI Tent Rental Division (TRD) Training for the Tent Professional, which included a session on emergency response procedures and the concept of the OSHA-recommended “toolbox meeting.”

The toolbox meeting is a simple way to accomplish several objectives for the work day, as well as establish job site safety guidelines. It provides the crew an organized starting point each day and at each job site during their route. The meeting should take place at the onset of the work at a job site and outline what staff is expected to do in the event of an emergency or injury. The crew should identify and discuss potential site hazards, formulate a plan, and outline actions to be taken if necessary. The plan should include evacuation procedures as well as a muster point to ensure all staff is accounted for and injury free.

A supervisor can also use the toolbox meeting as an opportunity to explain the job objectives, the vision of the client, and ultimately what he or she wants to accomplish with the installation/dismantle crew.

The toolbox meeting generally takes 15 to 20 minutes and can help ensure a properly informed staff, a safe job site and a successful event. Requiring site staff to add this to the company’s practices and procedures is an important step toward safety—and can save time and money that will benefit the company’s bottom line.

Dan Nolan III is the president and general manager of Tents Unlimited, Marietta, Ga., and vice chairman of TRD.

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