Evacuation maps, just like any other visual communication tool, should be placed in areas that catch the eyes of employees to remind them of emergency evacuation protocols. They should be in areas where emergency exits are not readily apparent and in well-lit spaces for employees to be able to see the map. It also might be helpful to post the evacuation maps close to high traffic doorways and exits as a constant reminder for employees. Lastly, think about potentially adding these maps to bulletin boards around the facility. Bulletins act as a source for information such as shift hours, calendars, PPE reminders, etc. which makes the addition of evacuation maps impossible to miss.
As a reminder, evacuation maps should not be the sole source of evacuation information. Evacuation procedures, exits, and locations of emergency equipment should be gone over in-depth during employee training. This piece of paper is more similar to PPE as a last-ditch effort in protecting oneself, rather than learned preventative and evacuation protocols during an actual emergency.
What information is on an evacuation map?
An informative floor plan for evacuation purposes can include the following:
- Exits and handicapped accessible routes
- Exit routs and alternatives
- Location of fire extinguishers and other emergency equipment such as AEDs, PPE, first aid, and oxygen tanks
- Employee location, “you are here”
- Fire alarm locations
- Emergency evacuation assembly areas
- Roof accessibility
The above are only a few examples of what can be included on an emergency evacuation map. Every map will vary from business to businesses depending on the type of primary work being performed.
While emergency evacuation maps are not required by OSHA, they do strongly recommend them. In addition to that, other government related authorities may still require evacuation maps to stay in compliant with state and local laws. Overall, ensuring maximum safety for employees absolutely does not rely on the idea of “is it required,” but instead, “will it keep people safe.” The need for emergency evacuation plans protects the lives of employees with information they need to protect themselves and their co-workers. With that being said, any amount of information is good information in these situations.
- Are emergency evacuation maps required?
- What are OSHA requirements for emergency evacuation?
- What emergency response procedures does OSHA require?
- What is an emergency evacuation plan?
- What are the safety sign requirements for emergency evacuation signs?
- What is an evacuation assembly area?
- Are emergency evacuation drills required by OSHA?
- What is it important to have an evacuation plan in place?