The federal Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) requires companies with 10 or more employees to have written fire prevention and emergency exit plans for each workplace. Employers with fewer than 10 employees may communicate the plans orally. To ensure that the exit plan will work in an actual emergency, it is advisable to rehearse regularly with annual or semiannual drills. EMERGENCY ACTION PLAN
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires an emergency action plan to include:
- Designated monitors or guides to ensure orderly exit during emergencies.
- Emergency escape procedures and escape route assignments.
- Procedures for employees who must stay behind to maintain or terminate critical operations before evacuation.
- Procedures for counting heads after evacuation is complete.
- Reporting procedures.
- An alarm system.
- The use of floor plans or workplace maps that clearly show the emergency escape routes.
- The designation of refuge or safe areas for evacuation (i.e., parking lots or open fields away from the emergency).
Although the following elements are not required by OSHA, they are crucial to an effective workplace plan:
- Posting of emergency evacuation plans (illustrated if possible).
- Distribution of emergency evacuation plans.
- Regular practice in using the evacuation routes (at least twice a year).
- Directions requiring everyone to dial 911 immediately in case of a fire-no matter how small. (If there is no 911 emergency number in the area, the local fire department number must be posted next to the phone. If the phone is programmable, the number(s) should be programmed in.)
A fire prevention plan should also include fire drill procedures and safety precautions for avoiding a ...