Emergency preparedness and response procedures are mandatory components of many Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rules. All employers must comply with OSHA’s emergency preparedness and response requirements for exit routes and emergency action plans. Fire prevention plans must be developed whenever a workplace activity or process covered by a specific OSHA standard requires such plans. Employers must also comply with OSHA rules that support and enhance emergency response efforts, such as medical services and first aid, personal protective equipment (PPE), and employee alarm systems. Emergency preparation is required for specific operations such as where employees work with hazardous substances (e.g., HAZWOPER and asbestos) and for confined spaces. Emergency response training for employees is required in many of OSHA’s emergency preparedness rules.
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Emergency preparedness for general workplace operations. The general industry rules for emergency preparedness that apply to a wide variety of workplaces cover:
Exit routes—29 CFR 1910.33 to 1910.37
Emergency action plan (EAP)—29 CFR 1910.38
Fire prevention plan (FPP)—29 CFR 1910.39
Exit routes, EAP, and FPP guidance—29 CFR 1910 Subpart E Appendix
Employee alarm systems—29 CFR 1910.165
Medical services and first aid—29 CFR 1910.151
Note on exit routes: Employers that prefer to follow the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) Standard 101, Life Safety Code, 2000 Edition (NFPA 101-2000), will be in compliance with OSHA requirements for the design, construction, and operational features of the exit routes standard (29 CFR 1910.34, 29 CFR 1910.36, and 29 CFR 1910.37).