In accordance with OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910.38, employers are required to establish an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) if fire extinguishers are required or provided in your workplace and if anyone will be evacuating during a fire or other emergency.

An Emergency Action Plan (EAP) is intended to prepare your workplace for emergency situations, i.e., fire, weather, medical, workplace violence, etc. The EAP must be in writing, kept in the workplace, and available to employees for review.

The EAP must include, at minimum, the following:

  • Procedures for reporting a fire or other emergency;
  • Procedures for emergency evacuation, including type of evacuation and exit route assignments;
  • Procedures to be followed by employees who remain to operate critical plant operations before they evacuate;
  • Procedures to account for all employees after evacuation;
  • Procedures to be followed by employees performing rescue or medical duties; and
  • The name or job title of every employee who may be contacted by employees who need more information about the plan or an explanation of their duties under the plan.

The employer must have and maintain an employee alarm system. The employee alarm system must use a distinctive signal for each purpose.

The employer is required to provide training to each employee on the contents of their site-specific plan.

The employer is responsible to establish exit route assignments. Most employers create site maps from floor diagrams with arrows that designate primary and alternative exit routes. These maps often include site-specific information such as: locations of exits; exterior meeting locations; shelter-in-place location(s); and equipment (such as fire extinguishers, first aid kits, and AEDs) that may be needed in an emergency. Designated exit routes must be clearly marked and well lit, wide enough to accommodate the number of evacuating personnel, unobstructed and clear of debris at all times, and unlikely to expose evacuating personnel to additional hazards. Site maps must be posted in a predominant area for all employees to see. If the employer chooses to post site maps, they must be accurate to the blueprint of the facility.

EDMC Safety and Health offers a compliance program to bring your organization into conformity with the required elements of the OSHA Emergency Action Plan Standard.

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