Evacuation Maps, Emergency Action Plans and OSHA

In the event of an emergency your employees, customers and visitors need to know how to evacuate your facility.

Evacuation maps that are placed on your facility walls, along with regular training of your employees can make the crucial difference in case of an emergency.

Evacuation maps my be required by a variety of governmental agencies or your insurance carrier, but in this article, I will summarize what OSHA  requires in regards to Emergency Action Plans (EAP) and more specifically; Evacuation Maps.  You will find that Evacuations Maps are often a requirement and a part of an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) that is required by OSHA for all businesses.

What is an Emergency Action Plan?

An Emergency Action Plan is information and procedures that your company must provide to your employees according to OSHA.  The Emergency Action Plan describes what to do in the event of an emergency.  The emergency could be fire, workplace emergency, tornado, hurricane, civil disobedience, terrorist threat, etc.

Below are the current required elements of an EAP according to OSHA.

Note:  Make sure to visit www.osha.gov to confirm there have been no changes and information is up to date…see disclaimer at bottom of article.
1910.38(a)

Application. An employer must have an emergency action plan whenever an OSHA standard in this part requires one. The requirements in this section apply to each such emergency action plan.

1910.38(b)

Written and oral emergency action plans. An emergency action plan must be in writing, kept in the workplace, and available to employees for review. However, an employer with 10 or fewer employees may communicate the plan orally to employees.

1910.38(c)

Minimum elements of an emergency action plan. An emergency action plan must include at a minimum:

1910.38(c)(1)

Procedures for reporting a fire or other emergency;

1910.38(c)(2)

Procedures for emergency evacuation, including type of evacuation and exit route assignments;

1910.38(c)(3)

Procedures to be followed by employees who remain to operate critical plant operations before they evacuate;

1910.38(c)(4)

Procedures to account for all employees after evacuation;

1910.38(c)(5)

Procedures to be followed by employees performing rescue or medical duties; and

1910.38(c)(6)

The name or job title of every employee who may be contacted by employees who need more information about the plan or an explanation of their duties under the plan.

1910.38(d)

Employee alarm system. An employer must have and maintain an employee alarm system. The employee alarm system must use a distinctive signal for each purpose and comply with the requirements in § 1910.165.

1910.38(e)

Training. An employer must designate and train employees to assist in a safe and orderly evacuation of other employees.

1910.38(f)

Review of emergency action plan. An employer must review the emergency action plan with each employee covered by the plan:

1910.38(f)(1)

When the plan is developed or the employee is assigned initially to a job;

1910.38(f)(2)

When the employee’s responsibilities under the plan change; and

1910.38(f)(3)

When the plan is changed.

[45 FR 60703, Sept. 12, 1980; FR 67 67963, Nov. 7, 2002]

Who is O.S.H.A.?

OSHA is part of the United States Department of Labor. The administrator for OSHA is the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health. OSHA’s administrator answers to the Secretary of Labor, who is a member of the cabinet of the President of the United States.

How are they Organized?

OSHA is part of the United States Department of Labor. The administrator for OSHA is the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health. OSHA’s administrator answers to the Secretary of Labor, who is a member of the cabinet of the President of the United States.

 

What is their Mission?

With the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, Congress created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to ensure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance.

Who and/or what does OSHA regulate?

The OSH Act covers employers and their employees either directly through federal OSHA or through an OSHA-approved state program. State programs must meet or exceed federal OSHA standards for workplace safety and health.  In Michigan, the state agency is MIOSHA.

Where does it say that my company needs Evacuation Maps, according to OSHA?

Determination is made by OSHA and based on the following Code: 

29 CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) Standard 1910, Part E, Means of Egress 1910.38(c)(2)

Building Maps (www.building-maps.com) creates and illustrates evacuation maps and floor plans that are required by OSHA or the state run programs.  Keep in mind that OSHA is not the only agency or company that may have requirements for your company regarding Emergency Action Plans or Evacuation Maps.  The local fire marshal, your insurance carrier or other governmental agencies that regulate your businesses industry may also have a say, in the safety regulation of your company.

Important:  Prior to creating Evacuation Maps/Floor plans for your company, it is best to compile all of the requirements from each concerned party or agency, prior to creating your maps.

OSHA may inspect your company or worksite.  In doing so, they would likely review your EAP, including your Evacuation Maps.

Summary:  Evacuation Maps may be required according to O.S.H.A. 29 CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) Standard 1910, Part E, Means of Egress 1910.38(c)(2); which states, “Procedures for emergency evacuation, including type of evacuation and exit route assignments;”

Resources:

www.osha.gov

http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/evacuation/sitemap.html

http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/evacuation/evac.html#conditions

Disclaimer:  This article is for general reference only.  Information is likely only part of what is required by a variety of governmental agencies and or your insurance carrier.  Carefully, research what is required of your company before implementing any safety program, including the use of any evacuation maps or plans.

Article by: 

Tony Jones, President of Building Maps, Rockford MI

 (www.building-maps.com and blog.building-maps.com)

About Tony

President/Illustrator at Building Maps
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