Emergency Action Plan Requirements

Written by jeanne ruczhak-eckman
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Emergency Action Plan Requirements
The purpose of having a plan is to ensure the safety of employees. (emergency sign image by max blain from Fotolia.com)

If your business is required to have fire extinguishers or simply provides them, then OSHA--the Occupational Safety & Health Administration--requires an emergency action plan. OSHA requires emergency plans to be in writing, although if an employer has fewer than 10 employees, that plan can be conveyed verbally. OSHA does require certain information to be included in the emergency action plan. The basic purpose of having a plan is to ensure the safety of the employees in the event of an emergency.

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Minimum Plan Requirements

A plan must state the procedure for reporting emergencies, including fires. A plan must include emergency exit procedures as well as evacuation routes. Employees who remain behind to operate critical plant operations or to properly shut down equipment must also have a list of procedures to follow before they evacuate as well. The plan must include a way to account for every employee. The plan must also include the procedures for the employees who are providing evacuation assistance or first aid. Finally, the plan should include a contact person. This is the person employees should see before an emergency with any concerns or questions.

Alarm System & Training

Employers are required to have an alarm system to be used in the case of an emergency. An employer needs to train employees to help evacuate other employees in the case of an emergency.

Review the Plan

The emergency action plan needs to be reviewed by new employees, employees being reassigned jobs and by everyone whenever the plan changes.

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