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Evacuation Plans and Procedures eTool - Copyright WARNING: Not all materials on this Web site were created by the federal government. Some content — including both images and text — may be the copyrighted property of others and used by the DOL under a license. Such content generally is accompanied by a copyright notice. It is your responsibility to obtain any necessary permission from the owner's of such material prior to making use of it. You may contact the DOL for details on specific content, but we cannot guarantee the copyright status of such items. Please consult the U.S.Copyright Office at the Library of Congress — http://www.copyright.gov — to search for copyrighted materials.Evacuation Plans and Procedures eTool - Copyright WARNING: Not all materials on this Web site were created by the federal government. Some content — including both images and text — may be the copyrighted property of others and used by the DOL under a license. Such content generally is accompanied by a copyright notice. It is your responsibility to obtain any necessary permission from the owner's of such material prior to making use of it. You may contact the DOL for details on specific content, but we cannot guarantee the copyright status of such items. Please consult the U.S.Copyright Office at the Library of Congress — http://www.copyright.gov — to search for copyrighted materials.Evacuation Plans and Procedures eTool - Copyright WARNING: Not all materials on this Web site were created by the federal government. Some content — including both images and text — may be the copyrighted property of others and used by the DOL under a license. Such content generally is accompanied by a copyright notice. It is your responsibility to obtain any necessary permission from the owner's of such material prior to making use of it. You may contact the DOL for details on specific content, but we cannot guarantee the copyright status of such items. Please consult the U.S.Copyright Office at the Library of Congress — http://www.copyright.gov — to search for copyrighted materials.Evacuation Plans and Procedures eTool - Copyright WARNING: Not all materials on this Web site were created by the federal government. Some content — including both images and text — may be the copyrighted property of others and used by the DOL under a license. Such content generally is accompanied by a copyright notice. It is your responsibility to obtain any necessary permission from the owner's of such material prior to making use of it. You may contact the DOL for details on specific content, but we cannot guarantee the copyright status of such items. Please consult the U.S.Copyright Office at the Library of Congress — http://www.copyright.gov — to search for copyrighted materials.Evacuation Plans and Procedures eTool - Copyright WARNING: Not all materials on this Web site were created by the federal government. Some content — including both images and text — may be the copyrighted property of others and used by the DOL under a license. Such content generally is accompanied by a copyright notice. It is your responsibility to obtain any necessary permission from the owner's of such material prior to making use of it. You may contact the DOL for details on specific content, but we cannot guarantee the copyright status of such items. Please consult the U.S.Copyright Office at the Library of Congress — http://www.copyright.gov — to search for copyrighted materials.Evacuation Plans and Procedures eTool - Copyright WARNING: Not all materials on this Web site were created by the federal government. Some content — including both images and text — may be the copyrighted property of others and used by the DOL under a license. Such content generally is accompanied by a copyright notice. It is your responsibility to obtain any necessary permission from the owner's of such material prior to making use of it. You may contact the DOL for details on specific content, but we cannot guarantee the copyright status of such items. Please consult the U.S.Copyright Office at the Library of Congress — http://www.copyright.gov — to search for copyrighted materials.
What is an Emergency Action Plan?  

Man with handheld radio in hard hat in a control room - Copyright WARNING: Not all materials on this Web site were created by the federal government. Some content — including both images and text — may be the copyrighted property of others and used by the DOL under a license. Such content generally is accompanied by a copyright notice. It is your responsibility to obtain any necessary permission from the owner's of such material prior to making use of it. You may contact the DOL for details on specific content, but we cannot guarantee the copyright status of such items. Please consult the U.S.Copyright Office at the Library of Congress — http://www.copyright.gov — to search for copyrighted materials. An emergency action plan (EAP) is a written document required by particular OSHA standards [29 CFR 1910.38(a)]. The purpose of an EAP is to facilitate and organize employer and employee actions during workplace emergencies. Well developed emergency plans and proper employee training (such that employees understand their roles and responsibilities within the plan) will result in fewer and less severe employee injuries and less structural damage to the facility during emergencies. A poorly prepared plan, likely will lead to a disorganized evacuation or emergency response, resulting in confusion, injury, and property damage.

Putting together a comprehensive emergency action plan that deals with those issues specific to your worksite is not difficult. It involves taking what was learned from your workplace evaluation and describing how employees will respond to different types of emergencies, taking into account your specific worksite layout, structural features, and emergency systems. Most organizations find it beneficial to include a diverse group of representatives (management and employees) in this planning process and to meet frequently to review progress and allocate development tasks. The commitment and support of all employees is critical to the plan's success in the event of an emergency; ask for their help in establishing and implementing your emergency action plan. For smaller organizations, the plan does not need to be written and may be communicated orally if there are 10 or fewer employees [29 CFR 1910.38(b)].

At a minimum, the plan must include but is not limited to the following elements [29 CFR 1910.38(c)]:

Although they are not specifically required by OSHA, you may find it helpful to include the following in your plan:

  • A description of the alarm system to be used to notify employees (including disabled employees) to evacuate and/or take other actions. The alarms used for different actions should be distinctive and might include horn blasts, sirens, or even public address systems. [More on Alarms]
  • The site of an alternative communications center to be used in the event of a fire or explosion; and
  • A secure on- or offsite location to store originals or duplicate copies of accounting records, legal documents, your employees' emergency contact lists, and other essential records.
Now that you have read through the basic overview of an emergency action plan, find out how to implement your plan.

Means of reporting fires and other emergencies
fire alarmProcedures the fire and emergency reporting procedures. Preferred procedures for reporting emergencies such as dialing 911, or an internal emergency number, or pulling a manual fire alarm are examples of emergency reporting procedures, but there are many other possibilities [29 CFR 1910.38(c)(1)].

For additional information, see reporting an emergency and alerting employees.



 
Evacuation procedures and emergency escape route assignments
Workers discussing escape procedures and route assignments - Copyright WARNING: Not all materials on this Web site were created by the federal government. Some content — including both images and text — may be the copyrighted property of others and used by the DOL under a license. Such content generally is accompanied by a copyright notice. It is your responsibility to obtain any necessary permission from the owner's of such material prior to making use of it. You may contact the DOL for details on specific content, but we cannot guarantee the copyright status of such items. Please consult the U.S.Copyright Office at the Library of Congress — http://www.copyright.gov — to search for copyrighted materials.An evacuation policy, procedures, and escape route assignments so employees understand who is authorized to order an evacuation, under what conditions an evacuation would be necessary, how to evacuate, and what routes to take. Exit diagrams are typically used to identify the escape routes to be followed by employees from each specific facility location [29 CFR 1910.38(c)(2)].

Evacuation procedures also often describe actions employees should take before and while evacuating such as shutting windows, turning off equipment, and closing doors behind them.

Sometimes a critical decision may need to be made when planning - whether or not employees should fight a small fire with a portable fire extinguisher or simply evacuate. Portable fire extinguishers may be integrated into the emergency action plan, find out how!

For additional information, see evacuation elements.




Procedures to be followed by employees who remain to operate
critical plant operations before they evacuate
Man with handheld radio in hard hat in a control room - Copyright WARNING: Not all materials on this Web site were created by the federal government. Some content — including both images and text — may be the copyrighted property of others and used by the DOL under a license. Such content generally is accompanied by a copyright notice. It is your responsibility to obtain any necessary permission from the owner's of such material prior to making use of it. You may contact the DOL for details on specific content, but we cannot guarantee the copyright status of such items. Please consult the U.S.Copyright Office at the Library of Congress — http://www.copyright.gov — to search for copyrighted materials.Employees may be required to operate fire extinguishers or shut down gas and/or electrical systems and other special equipment that could be damaged if left operating or create additional hazards to emergency responders (such as releasing hazardous materials) [29 CFR 1910.38(c)(3)].

For additional information, see evacuation procedures - employees who remain.



Procedures to account for all employees after an
emergency evacuation has been completed
Procedures to account for employees after the evacuation to ensure that everyone got out. This might include procedures for designated employees to sweep areas, checking offices and rest rooms, before being the last to leave a workplace or conducting a roll call in the assembly area. Many employers designate an "evacuation warden" to assist others in an evacuation and to account for personnel [29 CFR 1910.38(c)(4)].

For additional Information, see evacuation procedures - account for employees.



Rescue and medical duties for those employees who are to perform them
Rescue workers helping a victim - Copyright WARNING: Not all materials on this Web site were created by the federal government. Some content — including both images and text — may be the copyrighted property of others and used by the DOL under a license. Such content generally is accompanied by a copyright notice. It is your responsibility to obtain any necessary permission from the owner's of such material prior to making use of it. You may contact the DOL for details on specific content, but we cannot guarantee the copyright status of such items. Please consult the U.S.Copyright Office at the Library of Congress — http://www.copyright.gov — to search for copyrighted materials.The duties, responsibilities, and names of employees assigned with rescue and medical tasks. Most small organizations rely on local public resources such as the local fire department or hospital to provide these services [29 CFR 1910.38(c)(5)].

For additional Information, see fire, rescue and medical services.




Names or job titles of persons who can be contacted for
further information or explanation of duties under the plan
Address book - Copyright WARNING: Not all materials on this Web site were created by the federal government. Some content — including both images and text — may be the copyrighted property of others and used by the DOL under a license. Such content generally is accompanied by a copyright notice. It is your responsibility to obtain any necessary permission from the owner's of such material prior to making use of it. You may contact the DOL for details on specific content, but we cannot guarantee the copyright status of such items. Please consult the U.S.Copyright Office at the Library of Congress — http://www.copyright.gov — to search for copyrighted materials.The names, titles, departments, and phone numbers of employees who can be contacted for additional information or clarification of some aspect of the plan [29 CFR 1910.38(c)(6)].

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