Emergency Action Plans

Emergency Action Plans are an important aspect of safety at your workplace and they’re required to be written and available if you have more than 10 employees (otherwise, an oral plan communicated to employees will suffice). The Emergency Action Plan (EAP) could mean the difference between chaos and order during an actual emergency. Remember that an EAP is only as good as your employees’ knowledge and practice of it, so be sure to train employees and practice the plan regularly!

According to OSHA’s standard, 29 CFR 1910.38, an emergency action plan must include the following:

  • Procedures for reporting a fire or emergency
  • Procedures for evacuation including routes
  • Procedures for employees who remain behind to operate critical plant operations before evacuating
  • Procedures in place to account for all employees after an evacuation
  • Procedures for those employees who will provide medical or rescue duties
  • The name and job title of who may be contacted by employees if they have questions about the plan or their responsibilities

In addition, an employee alarm system, a way for employees to be made aware of an emergency, must also be in place. Some additional items can be found in the EAP to supplement the required elements. These include: an evacuation plot plan (including evacuation routes, assembly areas, fire extinguisher and first aid kit locations, MSDS manual locations, etc.), an emergency phone list, directions to the nearest hospital(s), a clear chain of command and the responsibilities of each member in the chain, emergency evacuation or shelter-in-place drill procedures, and a list of all employees who must be accounted for in the event of an evacuation.

The EAP should be reviewed with all new hires and whenever an employee is assigned a new or different responsibility under the plan. Whenever significant changes are required to be made to the plan, the changes should be reviewed with all employees. EAP content should be reviewed at least annually and changes made if necessary. All employees should have access to the Emergency Action Plan.

This information is provided as a service to you by Compliance Consultants, Inc.