Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents
• Standard Number: 1910.38; 1910.39; 1910.38(b); 1910.39(b)


OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. To keep apprised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website at http://www.osha.gov.


February 5, 1990

Kevin S. Vinchattle
Director of Public Affairs
Iowa Grain and Field Association
431 E. Locust, Suite 202
Des Moines, Iowa 50309

Dear Mr. Vinchattle:

This is in response to your letter of December 20, 1989, addressed to Hugh Conway, Director, Office of Regulatory Analysis, U.S. Department of Labor, concerning an interpretation of [29 CFR 1910.38(b) and 1910.39(b)] requiring an employee emergency or fire prevention plan to be in written form.

The requirement for an employee emergency action or fire prevention plan to be in written form is only for employers with 11 or more employees at any given facility. Facility is defined as a building and/or group of buildings where the employees may go back and forth within a working day.

An employer with 20 employees, and 5 facilities with 10 or less employees, at any of the facilities, may orally communicate his employee emergency or fire prevention plan to his employees when no more than 10 employees congregate in one facility. If more than 10 employees congregate in one facility but not in the other four, the employer shall be required to have a written employee emergency or fire prevention plan for that one facility. For the other four facilities with less than 10 employees, the employer may orally communicate the employee emergency or fire prevention plan.

The written requirement for employee emergency or fire prevention plan is based on the number of employees that are physically in a facility at any time of the working day and not on the number of employees that are employed by the employer.

Thank you for your interest in occupational safety and health.

Sincerely,

Thomas J. Shepich, Director
[Directorate of Enforcement Programs]

[Corrected 2/6/2004]



Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents Standard Interpretations - Table of Contents