OSHA Emergency Action Plan (EAP)

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees and to have an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) “to facilitate and organize employer and employee actions during workplace emergencies.”

Emergency Action Plans should inform employees on measures to take in the event of an emergency. Plan elements would include: safe evacuation routes for their building, assembly point, posted evacuation maps, periodic drills, and scenarios for a variety of site emergencies such as fire, earthquake, bomb threat, active shooter, and other potentially harmful or dangerous scenarios and/or emergency situations.

The degree of formality of the program depends somewhat on the size of the employee population, but because OSHA standards are a minimum, it is nonetheless always advisable to make the program formal, documented and complete as the best means to train, educate and protect employees. Besides safe egress procedure (such as taking the stairs rather than elevator to exit a building), plan elements should also include the location and use of life safety equipment such as fire extinguishers, fire alarm pull stations, and automatic fire extinguishing systems.

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