Emergency Action Plans
Do I Need
Almost every business is required to have
an emergency action plan (EAP).
If fire extinguishers are required or provided in your workplace, and if anyone will be
evacuating during a fire or other emergency, then OSHA's 1910.157 standard requires you to have an EAP.
The only exemption to this is if you have an in-house fire brigade in which every employee is trained and equipped
to fight fires, and consequently, no one evacuates.
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.
An emergency action plan must include at a
Procedures for reporting a fire or other
Procedures for emergency evacuation, including type
of evacuation and exit route assignments;
Procedures to be followed by employees who remain
to operate critical plant operations before they evacuate;
Procedures to account for all employees after
Procedures to be followed by employees performing
rescue or medical duties; and
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 employer must designate and train
employees to assist in a safe and orderly evacuation of other employees. An employer must review the emergency
action plan with each employee covered by the plan:
When the plan is developed or the employee is
assigned initially to a job;
When the employee's responsibilities under the plan
When the plan is changed.
Nobody expects an emergency or disaster to affect them, their employees,
and their business personally. However, emergencies and disasters can strike anyone, anywhere at
You and your employees could be forced to
evacuate your workplace when you least expect it. Remember to update your plan as your business grows or
changes. If you haven’t reviewed your plan lately, now might be a good time.