What does the OSHA Say about Emergency Action Plans?

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthy work environment.  In an ideal world there would be no workplace accidents or emergencies, but unfortunately that is not the case.  Therefore, under regulation 1910.38 the OSHA requires businesses to have a plan of action in case of an emergency.  Here are the rules you need to know in order to make sure your emergency plan complies.

Written and oral emergency plan.

An emergency action plan must be in writing and kept in the workplace, where it is available to all employees for review.  The only exception is an employer with 10 or fewer employees may orally communicate the plan to employees.

Minimum requirements.

At very least an emergency action plan must include the following:

• Procedures for reporting a fire

• Procedures for emergency evacuation, including type of evacuation and

  exit route strategies

• A plan to be followed by employees who remain to operate critical

  operations before they evacuate

• Procedures to account for all employees after they have evacuated

There must also be a designated list of people employees can contact should they need any more information or a more detailed explanation of their duties in the plan.

Employee alarm system.

The workplace must have and maintain an employee alarm system.  The system should have a distinctive signal for each type of emergency.

Training and review.

A designated group of employees must be trained to assist in safe evacuation of other employees.  These employees will be responsible for making sure the evacuation is orderly and that everyone knows where they should go.  The plan must be reviewed with each employee covered by the plan when the plan is first developed or when the employee starts the job, when responsibilities under the plan change, and when the plan is changed.

When running large engineering or maintenance projects, there can be a lot of employees to account for. It’s essential to have an emergency plan in place before starting a project in order to make sure all employees know what to do in case of any type of emergency.  For more information about the OSHA visit  HYPERLINK “http://www.osha.gov” www.osha.gov and stay up to date with the MAC Incorporated  HYPERLINK “http://blog.macttn.com” blog.  At MAC Incorporated we pride ourselves in working with the leaders of the engineering, maintenance, and operations management fields and value safety in the workplace, while providing strategic workforce solutions.