Chemical, biological, or radiological contaminants may be released into the environment in such quantity and/or proximity to a place of business that it is safer to remain indoors rather than to evacuate employees. Such releases may be either accidental or intentional. Examples of situations that might result in a decision by an employer to institute "shelter-in-place" include an explosion in an ammonia refrigeration facility across the street, or a derailed and leaking tank car of chlorine on the rail line behind your place of business.
"Shelter-in-place" means selecting an interior room or rooms within your facility, or ones with no or few windows, and taking refuge there. In many cases, local authorities will issue advice to shelter-in-place via TV or radio.
Depending on your circumstances and the type of emergency, the first important decision is whether you stay put or get away. You should understand and plan for both possibilities. Use common sense and available information, including what you are learning here, to determine if there is immediate danger. In any emergency, local authorities may or may not immediately be able to provide information on what is happening and what you should do. Use available information to assess the situation. If you see large amounts of debris in the air, or if local authorities say the air is badly contaminated, you may want to "shelter-in-place."
However, you should watch TV, listen to the radio, or check the Internet often for information or official instructions as it becomes available. If you are specifically told to evacuate or seek medical treatment, do so immediately.
If you intend to include a shelter-in-place option in your emergency plan, be sure to keep the following in mind:
Specific procedures for shelter-in-place at a worksite may include the following:
The Department of Labor does not endorse, takes no responsibility for, and exercises no control over the linked organization or its views, or contents, nor does it vouch for the accuracy or accessibility of the information contained on the destination server. The Department of Labor also cannot authorize the use of copyrighted materials contained in linked Web sites. Users must request such authorization from the sponsor of the linked Web site. Thank you for visiting our site. Please click the button below to continue.