EAP stands for, “Emergency Action Plan,” and is a document that a facility has to develop to show the actions that people must take in the event of an emergency. The EAP is required by OSHA for most types of facilities. The specific contents of an EAP will depend on the area for which it is designed. Every emergency action plan does have some minimum requirements that must be included but can contain a lot of additional information as well. Some examples of what an EAP should include are as follows:
- Evacuation Plans – This is the specific routes that employees will take when evacuating the building. Different areas of the building will need to take different routes. It is also important to ensure that every area of the building has at least two options for paths out in the event that one of them is blocked.
- Shelter in Place – During tornados and many other emergencies the safest option is to stay in the building. When this is the case employees need to know where they should report in order to be protected. When responding to weather emergencies, for examples, it is typically best to go to the lowest floor of the building and gather together toward the middle of the facility with no windows nearby.
- Fire Safety – The fire safety plan should include things like what employees should do if they see a fire, how they should leave the facility, who they should notify, and more. It can also include information about sprinkler systems, fire extinguishers, and more.
- Emergency Responder Information – Providing information to emergency responders such as firemen, paramedics, police, and others will help them to be able to take the proper actions. A good EAP will have information for these responders.
- Reporting Emergencies – Information about how to respond to an emergency should also be included. Letting people know when something should be reported, to whom it should be reported, and other details is very important.
A good emergency action plan will help ensure everyone in the facility has access to the information they need to respond properly in the event of an emergency. This is a significant requirement for most facilities in the US, and one that will greatly improve the overall safety of the facility.