Emergency Preparedness for Laboratories - Weekly Tip
Personnel Rosters and Emergency Phone Trees

Posted 12:16 PM, June 3, 2008, by lmjohnso

For the next few weeks, the Health and Safety Programs Office (HSPO) will be posting emergency preparedness tips on our blog to assist laboratories in completing the Q2 Self Inspection Checklist . This week's tip is regarding creating and maintaining lab/department personnel rosters and emergency phone trees.

It is vitally important to have accurate emergency contact information for all personnel working in your laboratory/department. Information should be collected for all faculty, staff (full and part time), students and contractors. Here are a few emergency situations to illustrate the need for accurate contact information.

Situation 1:
A power outage has occurred early Saturday morning. The event is expected to last longer than 8 hours. Your laboratory is currently conducting research where loss of power would cause major issues with the equipment and/or specimens. A key person on the project changed his/her cell phone number last month and you do not have the updated information. You are unable to reach that person and have no clue about emergency shut down procedures.

Situation 2:
There was a major fire in your lab the night before. You need to advise staff to telecommute from home for the day. You thought you were able to contact everyone, but you missed the part-time contractor that comes in only a few times a month. That person just commuted from San Francisco and has no way of contacting you for instruction.

As shown above, not having the right contact numbers for personnel can be a major issue. The HSPO recommends the following actions to improve your laboratory/department's preparedness:

- Take five minutes during every quarterly self-inspection to update your roster and provide that information to key personnel.

- Develop an emergency phone tree, train personnel and practice making phone calls at least once a year.

- Develop a department Emergency Hotline, train key staff on how to leave messages, provide call-in information to all personnel and practice posting/receiving messages at least once a year.

- Make sure that all personnel know the School of Medicine Emergency Hotline at 3-(SAFE) or (650) 723-7233.

For any additional information, please contact Lisa M. Johnson at 650-721-6269 or at lisa.johnson@stanford.edu.

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