Emergency Action Plan
In the event of an emergency, an emergency action plan can result in reducing the number of injuries and even saving lives. The purpose of an emergency action plan (EAP) is to organize and develop safe procedures for employers and employees to follow in emergency situations. The more organized the emergency action plan is, the better. A disorganized evacuation can result in injuries, damages, and overall confusion among employees. OSHA requires an employer to keep a written emergency action plan in the workplace that is available to all employees to review.
Minimum Elements of an Emergency Action Plan
- Procedures for reporting a fire or other emergencies
- Procedures for emergency evacuation, including type of evacuation and exit route assignments
- Procedures for employees who stay to operate critical operations before they evacuate
- Procedures to account for all employees after completing the evacuation
- Procedures to be followed by employees performing rescue or medical duties
- The name or job title for every employee who may be contacted by employees who need more information regarding the plan
OSHA requires that certain employers have and maintain an employee alarm system. It must have a distinctive signal for each purpose.
- The sounding of an alarm
- Verbal announcement (than 11 employees on site)
- Cell Phones/ Two Way Radios
OSHA requires an employer to train employees to assist in a safe and orderly evacuation of other employees. Examples include:
- Fire Drills
- Active Shooter Drills
- Tornado Drills
Employers must review the emergency action plan with each employee covered by the plan.