Do You Have a Written Emergency Action Plan? -Part IV

This post series regarding Emergency Evacuation continues with our fourth and final issue.

Remember that your written Emergency Action Plan must include the following (at a minimum):

  • A method for reporting fires and other emergencies;
  • An evacuation policy and procedure;
  • Emergency escape procedures and route assignments, such as floor plans, workplace maps, and safe or refuge areas;
  • Names, titles, departments, and telephone numbers of individuals both within and outside your company to contact for additional support following an emergency situation;
  • Procedures for employees who remain to perform or shut down critical plant operations, operate fire extinguishers, or perform other essential services that cannot be shut down for every emergency alarm before evacuating; and
  • Rescue and medical duties for any workers designated to perform them.

Do not forget to designate an assembly location and procedures to account for all employees and visitors after an evacuation.

  • The site of an alternative communications center to be used in the event of a fire or explosion; and
  • A secure on or off-site location to store originals or duplicate copies of accounting records, legal documents, your employees’ emergency contact lists, and other essential records.

You must alert your employees of an emergency.

  • Alarms must be able to be heard, seen, or otherwise perceived by everyone in the workplace. You might want to consider providing an auxiliary power supply in the event that electricity is shut off. (29 CFR 1910.165(b)(2) offers more information on alarms.)

Keep an updated list of key personnel such as the plant manager or physician, in order of priority, to notify in the event of an emergency during off-duty hours.

Additional references:

DOL / OSHA - How to Plan for Workplace Emergencies and Evacuations

DOL / OSHA - Evacuation Elements

NFPA - Employee Fire and Life Safety


You Know How to Make an Entrance, What About an EXIT? -Part I
What Are Your Exit Signs Made Of? -Part II
Are Your Workers Safe Once Outside Your Building? -Part III