Nov 4, 2019
In Case of Emergency: creating a proper evacuation plan to keep your employees safe

{Sponsored} For a greenhouse, there can be no worse days than when a disaster strikes — but the biggest difference between a bad day and a disaster can be as simple as proper planning and preparation. 

The definition of a disaster for your greenhouse can vary, whether it be a natural disaster such as a hurricane or a tornado, or a workplace accident such as a chemical explosion or greenhouse fire. Regardless, having the proper evacuation and emergency plans in place can not only help mitigate damages, but can save the lives of your most valuable asset — your employees.

The intricacy of your greenhouse’s evacuation plan all depends on the size of your facilities and nature of your business. However, the first step is to envision all of the various scenarios in which you would need to ensure your employees exit the property safely. This can include identifying where certain emergencies may occur, how or why they may arise, and identifying all of your exit points.

After identifying all of the possible emergencies, it’s important to create a chain of command for your employees to understand. This can include designating someone as an evacuation warden — whether it be you or someone else — that has the authority to order the evacuation. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends one evacuation warden for every 20 employees. 

The biggest element of the evacuation plan is the actual evacuation route planning. After identifying emergencies and points of entry/exit, write down and distribute evacuation procedures, including routes to take, exits to use and areas where shelter and emergency kits are readily available. Posting building signs and site maps with exit and emergency routes clearly marked is also highly recommended.

Once your greenhouse’s evacuation plan is in place, there’s one more important aspect that often gets overlooked: practice. Conducting employee training and exercises on the specific evacuation procedures, running monthly or quarterly drills, can help cut down on the potential chaos and disorganization that comes with emergencies themselves.

Want more information on protecting your greenhouse in the case of emergencies? Contact Hortica® today at 800-541-5082, or visit

Hortica® property and casualty coverages are underwritten, and loss control services are provided, by Florists’ Mutual Insurance Company, Florists’ Insurance Company, and Florists’ Insurance Service, Inc., Edwardsville, IL, members of the Sentry Insurance Group. For more information, visit Policies, coverages, benefits and discounts are not available in all states. See policy for complete coverage details. 

This document is made available by Sentry Insurance a Mutual Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates (collectively “SIAMCO”) with the understanding that SIAMCO is not engaged in the practice of law, nor is it rendering legal advice. The information contained in this document is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity, nor the best practices applicable to any particular individual or entity. Legal obligations may vary by state and locality, and best practices are unique to specific items and situations. No one should act on the information contained in this document without advice from a local professional with relevant expertise.

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© 2019 Hortica


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