Fires, toxic chemical releases, hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, floods. Emergencies can happen anywhere at any time. It's important to establish an emergency action plan (EAP) and prepare employees to handle emergencies before they arise.
Where required by some OSHA standards, companies with more than 10 employees must have a written emergency action plan; smaller companies may communicate their plans orally.
When developing an EAP, it’s a good idea to look at a wide variety of potential emergencies that could occur in your workplace. The plan should be tailored to your worksite and include information about all potential sources of emergencies.
Plans should be reviewed with employees when initially put in place and re-evaluated and amended whenever the plan itself, or employee responsibilities, change. Emergency procedures should include:
The employer should designate an emergency response coordinator and a backup coordinator. This ensures that a trained person is always available. Employees should know who the designated coordinator is. Duties of the coordinator and employer include:
General training for employees should address:
You also may want to train employees in first-aid procedures, including protection against bloodborne pathogens; respiratory protection, including use of an escape-only respirator; and methods for preventing unauthorized access to the site.