Preparing for an extended power outage in the plant
In a power outage due to extreme weather or a natural disaster such as a wildfire, you may have to activate your emergency response plan. Ensure that your staff know how to safely evacuate your building(s) in an emergency and where they should muster.
Communication in a power outage is critical, but some of your usual communications channels may be interrupted without power. Pay attention to updates from your community and follow any directions from local authorities. Ensure that your staff is informed throughout the incident and is aware of their role and responsibilities.
Depending on your worksite, you have additional precautions to take in a power outage. Record, before an outage, any procedures and precautions required for machinery shutdown or other considerations.
Power outage checklist
|BEFORE AN OUTAGE
|Have an emergency response plan in place, and make sure your employees are familiar with it.
|Stock up on batteries and other essentials in advance (such as fuel for your generator).
|Have a list that includes:
Equipment that will need to be turned off and how to turn it off in a power outage (follow the startup/shutdown procedure for your equipment)
Equipment that does not follow the shutdown plan
|Protect your data by backing it up regularly (to the cloud, or a removable storage device)
|Consider having a battery or generator backup system in place for emergency requirements (such as maintaining vital equipment and/or computers).
|Know how to safely operate any generators or backup power supplies. Do not operate them without proper ventilation.
|DURING AN OUTAGE
|Ensure all equipment has been shut down so it can start-up in the required sequence when the power comes back on.
|Account for each employee. If any employees are missing, inform the supervisor or follow the emergency plan protocol.
|In an extended power outage, determine at what point you will send employees home.
|Protect people working outside your building by ensuring that during an outage that all generator equipment is properly connected so that the lines outside the buildings are not energized.
|Account for any visitors, contractors, or customers on-site.
|Keep doors closed on all coolers and freezers to prevent product damage or loss.
|AFTER AN OUTAGE
|Check equipment and machinery for any damage prior to restarting.
|Check your backup power supply equipment and refuel the generator for the next event.
|Confirm that power is stable before resuming operations.
|Confirm that alarm panels and sensing devices are operating as expected.
|Confirm that your emergency plan worked as designed. Review any issues that occurred during the event and update your plan accordingly.
|Review the incident with your Joint Health and Safety Committee and document any corrective actions in the minutes.
Some advanced preparation will protect your employees, your equipment, and your business from the impacts of an extended power outage.
Learn more about emergency response planning: