What emergency response procedures does OSHA require?

Emergency response procedures vary wildly across businesses depending on what they do, where they are located, and the materials within the building. For that reason, developing a unique emergency response procedure is absolutely necessary to protect both workers and property at that site.

Training is at the front and center of any emergency plan as employees have to know their responsibilities to appropriately act when a dangerous situation arises. In general, there are two groups that need to be trained; those belonging to the emergency response team, and the rest of the employees that are not a part of that team. For those who are not a part of the emergency response team, they must be familiar with:

  • Evacuation plans
  • The alarm system and what each alarm means
  • Reporting procedures
  • Shutdown procedures
  • The types of emergencies
  • Special hazards
  • Evacuation routes

Employees that have been assigned to be a part of the emergency response team must be trained on the above mentioned as well as the following:

  • The use of a variety of fire extinguishers
  • First aid including CPR and the use of a SCBA
  • Be familiar with OSHA’s requirements regarding bloodborne pathogens
  • Shutdown procedures
  • Chemical spill procedures
  • Emergency rescue and search protocols
  • HazMat emergency response

All this information should be contained in the company’s emergency action plan and regularly gone over with employees. Emergency evacuation drills must take place as often as possible to keep the employees’ minds fresh on safety protocols in addition to yearly training and re-training opportunities.


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