Hawaii Fire Prevention laws & safety compliance analysis

Hawaii Fire Prevention: What you need to know

Hawaii has no specific law or regulation requiring employers to conduct fire drills. However, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act(OSH Act) standards, adopted by Hawaii's own occupational safety and health act, do require 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.

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The Occupational Health and Safety 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.
  • Rescue and medical duties for those assigned to perform them.
  • Reporting procedures.
  • A list of names and job titles of employees who can dispense information about the emergency action plan.
  • 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).
  • Periodic checks for proper functioning of alarm systems, ...

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