What are OSHA requirements for emergency evacuation?

There are several requirements that must be followed regarding emergency evacuation plans. Put in place by OSHA, these regulations work to ensure the safety of building occupants by preparing them for worst-case scenarios. Compliance with OSHA’s 29 CFR 1910.38 will not only improve workplace safety and save lives in an emergency, it will also help with avoiding fines for non-compliance and legal fees in the event that preventable injuries and fatalities occur.

The sections of this standard that must be remembered and followed by employers include the following:

  • A documented plan for businesses with more than ten employees
  • An installed and maintained alarm system in place
  • Employee emergency evacuation training along with periodic review
  • A means of reporting emergencies
  • Detailed evacuation procedures and assignments for emergency egress routes
  • Detailed procedures for employees who must stay behind to shut down plant operations before evacuating
  • A procedure to be used to account for all employees once they reach the designated assembly area
  • First aid and rescue duties required for appointed employees
  • A contact list for emergency personnel and employee emergency contact persons

The mentioned requirements build what is referred to as an emergency action plan. The sole purpose of this type of program is to get all employees out and let the emergency responders handle the emergency conditions. This defensive stance on emergency evacuation eliminates the need for intricate training on how to fight the emergency aside from basic use of fire extinguishers, as an example. This opens up new pathways in focusing on minimizing human injury and fatalities.

 

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