Individualized Emergency Response Plans

An Individualized Workplace Emergency Response Plan is a written document that details all assistance a person needs during a workplace emergency. An employee might need assistance with various tasks involved in responding to an emergency, including:

  • Activating an alarm or finding out that an alarm is sounding or flashing.

  • Locating or following paths to building exits.

  • Communicating with emergency responders.

  • Moving through crowds in stressful situations.

  • Travelling through and out of buildings without using elevators.

  • Finding and using refuge areas.

Employees are responsible for identifying accommodation needed in the event of an emergency related to a disability that may or may not be apparent. However, they do not need to disclose the particulars of their disability or condition.

An Occupational Health Nurse will work with employees with disabilities and their managers (if applicable) to identify any individualized needs in relation to emergency procedures. Regular review of the plan is required when the employee’s work location or job changes, or if the employee experiences any temporary or permanent changes to their accommodation needs. An information card will be provided in certain circumstances for employees (for when they are not in their normal work location temporarily).

Persons with disabilities and employers develop an individualized emergency plan together and sign it. Employers must also seek out co-workers who will volunteer to help an employee in the event of an emergency. The plan must be kept confidential. For this reason, the employer must receive an employee’s consent before sharing any of the employee’s information with chosen volunteers. Types of support that volunteer co-workers may need to provide include, but not limited to:

  • Telling an employee that the fire alarm is sounding.

  • Guiding an employee to the exit.

  • Explaining to emergency responders how an employee can communicate with them.

  • Calming an employee in the crowded environment of an emergency exit.

  • Physically supporting an employee and/or the employee’s mobility aid(s).

  • Waiting with an employee away from designated waiting areas.

Furthermore, the plan should include:

  • The names, locations, and contact information of volunteers.

  • How the employee will be involved in every part of the emergency response, from the first alarm signal to the end of the process.

  • Which parts the employee will know about or do on their own, which parts they will perform with assistance, and what volunteers should do.

  • Any alternate routes an employee and volunteer may use when exiting the building.

Volunteers will need to learn how to provide assistance and how to offer support, as necessary. Volunteers and others involved in the plan do not need to know about an employee’s diagnosis. Instead, they need to know what tasks the employee will need help with and how to provide that help.

Should you require assistance during an emergency please follow the process below:

  1. Complete the PDF form.

  2. Send the completed form to Occupational Health. An Occupational Health nurse will discuss options with the employee and then the manager as appropriate.

  3. Occupational Health will complete the “details of the individual accommodation section” of the form.

  4. The form will then be completed by Occupational Health and returned to the employee (and manager, if appropriate).

Please note: The University will work with each individual to provide a reasonable accommodation solution. It is your responsibility to participate in the accommodation process, including review of all reasonable, appropriate accommodation options.  Your request may require the submission of identifiable, verifiable medical documentation indicating functional restrictions and limitations to Occupational Health to assist with identifying reasonable accommodation solutions.