The Energy Department has a current evacuation plan—officially, an Occupant Emergency Plan, or OEP—in place at its headquarters but both employees who would need special assistance in that situation and their supervisors were largely unaware of its terms, an IG report has said.
Auditors interviewed 14 supervisors with employees who might need assistance evacuating and found that none were fully aware of their responsibilities under the plan. Of those, 12 “told us that they had not heard of the OEP and were unfamiliar with the information contained in the OEP.”
“One supervisor told us that he did not know where the OEP was located but knew that if he spent some time on the Department’s website, he would be able to locate it and understand what his roles and responsibilities were during an emergency evacuation. Another supervisor stated that he had previously been trained for about 30 minutes on evacuation procedures but was unfamiliar with the OEP,” it said.
During the interviews, the auditors further “identified three supervisors who were not aware that they had employees needing assistance.”
Of 14 employees who would need assistance whom auditors interviewed, seven “were not trained on evacuation or aware of all available accommodations during an emergency.” Five of them of did not know where the areas of refuge were located and two did not know how to request assistance in the event of an emergency evacuation.
It said that management concurred with recommendations to improve awareness, which will include two annual webinars in addition to previous training offered.