OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
TRADE NEWS RELEASE
April 17, 2003
OSHA Contact: Bill Wright
WASHINGTON -- Knowing how to escape from one's workplace during an emergency is not just another safety and health issue requiring compliance by employers and consideration by workers. Armed with valid and reliable information, that knowledge can save lives.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration developed the Emergency Exit Routes fact sheet designed to ensure employers and workers are equipped with that information. The fact sheet augments the agency's standard on exit routes, and emergency action and fire prevention plans.
"No one should need reminding how quickly an event can occur that necessitates emergency evacuation from the workplace," said OSHA Administrator John Henshaw. "The information we've compiled in this fact sheet provides a readily-available tool to aid employers and workers in being prepared to safely evacuate their workplaces should an emergency occur."
Information in the fact sheet not only defines exit routes and explains how many exit routes a worksite should have, but also provides information on how to design an exit route that will ensure safe evacuation for all workers. Also included is a list of required maintenance, safeguarding and operational features for exit routes.
The fact sheet provides information on emergency action plan requirements, detailing the plan's minimum elements, such as procedures for reporting fires and other emergencies, personnel accountability, alarm systems, etc. Minimum provisions and requirements for fire prevention plans are also outlined in the fact sheet. Finally, a list of resources for more details on exit routes and related OSHA standards are provided.
OSHA recently revamped its 30-year-old standard dealing with exit routes, emergency action and fire prevention plans, wrapping it in a user-friendlier format with clear, consistent and up-to-date information. Inconsistent and duplicative requirements were replaced with simple, and straightforward terms that aid workers and employers in understanding the important regulation. The revised standard was effective on Dec. 9, 2002.
OSHA is dedicated to assuring worker safety and health. Safety and health add value to business, the workplace and life. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.
U.S. Labor Department news releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this release will be made available in alternative format upon request (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office. Please specify which news release when placing your request. Call 202-693-7773 or TTY 202-693-7755.
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