there is an emergency, getting workers out of high-rise
buildings poses special challenges. Preparing in advance
to safely evacuate the building is critical to the safety
of employees who work there.
actions should employers take to help ensure safe evacuations
of high-rise buildings?
- Don't lock fire exits or block doorways, halls,
- Test regularly all back-up systems and safety systems,
such as emergency lighting and communication systems
, and repair them as needed.
- Develop a workplace evacuation plan, post it prominently
on each floor, and review it periodically to ensure
- Identify and train floor wardens, including back-up
personnel, who will be responsible for sounding alarms
and helping to evacuate employees.
- Conduct emergency evacuation drills periodically.
- Establish designated meeting locations outside the
building for workers to gather following an evacuation.
The locations should be safe distance from the building
and in an area where people can assemble safely without
interfering with emergency response teams.
- Identify personnel with special needs or disabilities
who may need help evacuating and assign one or more
people, including back-up personnel, to help them.
- Ensure that during off-hour periods, systems are
in place to notify, evacuate, and account for off-hour
- Post emergency numbers near telephones.
should employers do when an emergency occurs?
- Sound appropriate alarms and instruct employees
to leave the building.
- Notify, police, firefighters, or other appropriate
- Take a head count of employees at designated meeting
locations, and notify emergency personnel of any missing
every high-rise building has unique characteristics involving
location, design, construction, and occupancy, this page
covers only some of the basic considerations for safe evacuation.
This information is not a substitute for a site-specific evacuation
program nor does it detail specific OSHA or OSHA-approved state
plan standards that may be applicable to individual work sites.
Likewise, it does not create independent legal obligations.
In addition, OSHA citations can only issued for violations of
the OSH Act, OSHA standards, or OSHA regulations.