You are the production manager of a small factory, which has been newly relocated to a new facility. You’ve done everything you can to gear up to full production safely. Equipment has been installed by professionals, inspections performed, and safety training sessions held for all, even your experienced workers. Now, about an hour into your first day of full production, as you stand on the floor overlooking the line, you see employees falling ill, some becoming unconscious, and the equipment is still running. In fact, suddenly, you’re not feeling so well yourself. What would you do?
ANSWER SHOULD INCLUDE> Your response to this situation should recognize that this is an emergency situation demanding immediate action. There seems to be an airborne contaminant. Since the manager is also becoming ill, she first needs to make sure she can continue to function. She should grab any equipment she can to be able to continue to breathe safely, even a cloth held over nose and mouth. The electrical power to the equipment must be shut down to prevent further injury, but power to exhaust fans, telephones, computers and other equipment should be kept running, if possible. That will depend on whether they are on separate electrical circuits. Windows and doors should be opened and, of course, 911 must be called. Office staff may not be affected, and may be able to help.