Does Your Facility Need an Emergency Action Plan?

In general, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Standard 29 CFR 1910.38, Emergency Action Plans (EAP), requires employers to develop plans to handle fires and other emergencies that may require evacuation of the premises. Such plans must be in writing, kept in the workplace, and be available to employees for review; however, an employer with 10 or fewer employees may communicate the plan orally.

This handout presents information provided by OSHA that can be used by employers to identify their need to develop an EAP. It is important to note that this information does not alert employers to other OSHA standards that may be associated with the emergency plan or to the additional OSHA standards that apply to their facilities.

QUESTION YES NO
Are fire extinguishers provided in the workplace?
Are the fire extinguishers intended for employee use?
Will any of your workers be required to evacuate the workplace?
If you answered “no” to either of the first two or “yes” to all three questions then you are required by OSHA to develop an EAP. Otherwise, you should continue with the questions below

 

QUESTION YES NO
Does your facility use a total flooding extinguishing system that provides any one of the following design concentrations:

  • 4 percent or greater of Halon 1211?
  • 4 percent or greater of carbon dioxide?
  • 10 percent or greater of Halon 1301,
  • or concentrations exceeding 7 percent when egress from an area cannot be accomplished in one minute?
Does your facility use a fire detection system with alarms or devices that are delayed by more than 30 seconds for reasons other than a total flooding extinguishing system listed above?
Are you required to comply with OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910.119, Process Safety Management?
Are you required to comply with OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910.272, Grain Handling Facilities?
Are you required to comply with OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910.1047, Ethylene Oxide?
Are you required to comply with OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910.1050 Methylenedianiline?
Are you required to comply with OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910.1051, 1,3-Butadiene?
Do you plan to evacuate all of your employees and to rely on an outside party to provide emergency response to a hazardous substance release?Note: if a hazardous substance emergency could occur at your facility and you plan to have any of your employees participate in the emergency response, you are required to have an emergency response plan consistent with OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910.120(q) Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response.
If you answered “YES” to any one of the questions above, you are required by OSHA to develop an EAP.

 

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