SHANGHAI, China — For Sherry Wu and Michael Huang from Ford China HR Facility team, the primary task for fire drill day is to ensure all employees are evacuated quickly and efficiently when the fire alarm goes off. Sounds like a workplace routine with no fuss, but organising an event like this requires a significant amount of work given the fact that 750 people are employed at Ford’s Asia Pacific and Africa (APA) headquarters.
“At Ford, we never compromise safety. We now have 7 floors in the Shanghai Information Tower (SIT) building, thus safety is always a top concern,” said Huang, office and facilities officer, Ford APA. “The fire drill is a great opportunity to get every employee, especially the new comers, familiarised with the building facilities, like the exits, stairways and the evacuation path. Knowledge like this can be life-saving in case of an emergency.”
Ford has been running fire drills every year in the Shanghai office during November, known as fire prevention month in China. The HR facility team, which Wu and Huang work in, plays a big role in making it a success.
To make the drill more effective, the facility team came up with a different approach this year.
“Last year, employees were evacuated and gathered by functions, such as Finance, IT and Legal. But now as the number of employees continues to grow, people in the same department sometimes are on different floors so it makes more sense to have them evacuated by floors,” said Wu, facilities assistant, Ford APA. “This also makes it easier for the fire warden, who is a receptionist on each floor, to search people on her floor and file a report.”
“We had the fire drill this year as a dedicated event for Ford APA employees. As you can imagine, a lot of effort and resources were required to make it go smoothly. But eventually, we believe employees will benefit from this and have a better understanding of safety at work,” added Wu.