Emergency Action Plan

Emergency Action Plan Guide in Spanish 
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In an emergency, what do you do? Where do you go? When should you call 911? Who is responsible to do what? How do you evacuate?

You and your employees should be prepared to answer these questions and take action in the event of an emergency such as a fire, earthquake, natural gas leak, violent workplace incident, or employee injury. An emergency action plan can help. An emergency action plan helps reduce losses caused from injury, downtime, product loss, as well as equipment and premises damage. As an OSHA requirement, an emergency action plan is a necessary precaution that will help guide your employees through an emergency situation.

Minimum OSHA Emergency Action Plan Elements:
• Evacuation policy and procedure.
• Preferred evacuation procedures and route assignments such as floor plans and workplace maps.
• Procedures to be followed by employees who remain to perform critical functions before they evacuate.
• Procedures to account for all employees after an evacuation has been completed.
• Rescue and medical duties for employees assigned to perform them.
• Preferred means of reporting fires and other emergencies.
• Names, regular job titles of persons or departments, and telephone numbers of persons who can be contacted within and outside the company for further information or explanation of duties under the plan.
• Alarm system that complies with 29 CFR 1910.165. If the employee alarm system is used for alerting the fire department or for other purposes, a distinctive signal for each purpose is necessary.
*Note: If you have 10 or more employees, your plan must be in a written form.

Minimum OSHA Training Requirements:
• Train a sufficient number of people to assist in an emergency evacuation.
• Thoroughly train each employee on the plan before implementing it.
• Train each employee whenever the employee’s responsibilities or designated actions under the plan change.
• Train each employee whenever the plan is changed.

Minimum OSHA Fire Prevention Plan Elements:
• A list of major workplace fire hazards and the proper handling of flammable materials.
• A list of potential ignition sources and control procedures.
• Types of fire-protection equipment or systems that can control a fire.
• Names or regular job titles of employees responsible for maintenance of equipment, and systems installed to prevent or control ignitions or fires.
• Training for all employees upon initial assignment on the fire hazards of the materials they are exposed to and review with each employee those parts of the fire prevention plan essential to self protection.
• Housekeeping procedures to control accumulations of flammable, combustible waste materials and residues.
• Maintenance procedures to prevent accidental ignition of combustible materials from equipment, and from systems installed on heat-producing equipment.

Note: A fire prevention plan is an OSHA-required element of any emergency action plan.

Beyond the Minimum:
Once you have a basic emergency action plan implemented, you may want to expand your plan to be prepared for a range of emergencies. A planning session among employees can generate ideas about different types of emergencies they may encounter. Consider your neighbors, what they do, their processes, and how they might affect you. Think about how to handle injuries, where to take an injured employee, and who will provide first aid to them. Make a list of medical specialists who can help you. Make lists of bloodborne pathogens. Consider how to control acts of violence, bomb threats, and hostage situations. Address what needs to be done to keep your company operating, if possible, during emergencies, or to get it back into full operation afterwards.

Making the Plan Available:
When your written plan is completed, you should make copies available to those responsible for implementing the plan. You should give a copy to people in leadership that may be involved in dealing with and mitigating the emergency, response personnel, and the receptionist. In some instances the local fire department representatives may need copies. Security personnel and the front receptionist should also have access to copies. Quick access to the plan may lead to a faster response time and a reduction in losses.

Example Emergency Action Worksheet Questions and Considerations:
Type of emergency
Who is in charge?
Who does what?
Who makes phone calls?
Phone numbers to call (management/owners, emergency response/fire department, ambulance, compliance agencies, neighbors/employees’ families)?
Who handles first aid/location of supplies?
Who evacuates immediate area/building/property/neighborhood?
Evacuation procedures/routes/gathering places?
Who accounts for personnel?
Accounting procedure?
Who shuts down equipment?
What equipment/procedures?
Who shuts down utilities?
Shutdown procedures/location of valves/switches
Who works with police, fire department, etc. (procedures)?
Who works with compliance officers/agencies (procedures)?
Who deals with media/neighbors/general public (in-person/telephone procedures)?
Document actions, events, times, who did what, when, where, why, how much (cost, injuries, where injured taken, when response personnel arrived, what steps taken to mitigate or bring the event to an end)

Resources
OSHA 29 CFR 1910.38
OSHA 29 CFR 1926.35

Additional Resources
WCF Insurance Safety Department
385.351.8103

Ask a Safety Consultant

https://www.osha.gov
http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/

NOTICE: This guide may make reference to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations; however the guide is not legal advice as to compliance with OSHA or other safety laws, codes, or regulations. Compliance with OSHA and other safety laws codes or regulations, and maintaining a safe work environment for your employees remains your responsibility. WCF Insurance does not undertake to perform the duty of any person to provide for the health or safety of your employees. WCF Insurance does not warrant that your workplace is safe or healthful, or that it complies with any laws, regulations, codes, or standards.

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