When there is an emergency evacuation of a building or job site, it is vital for employees to know how to quickly exit the building or area and assemble a safe distance away in a pre-designated area.
In fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires businesses and organizations to have and to inform employees of its emergency action plan in the event of a mandatory evacuation from a building or job site. The emergency action plan must be in writing and kept in the workplace and available for all employees to review. [OSHA 1910.38(b)]
When developing an EAP, it is important to determine:
- Conditions under which an evacuation would be necessary.
- Conditions under which it may be better to shelter-in-place.
- A clear chain of command and designation of the person in your business authorized to order an evacuation or shutdown.
- Specific evacuation procedures, including routes and exits.
- Specific evacuation procedures for high-rise buildings.
- Procedures for assisting visitors and employees to evacuate, particularly those with disabilities or who do not speak English.
- Designation of what, if any, employees will remain after the evacuation alarm to shut down critical operations or perform other duties before evacuating.
- A means of accounting for employees after an evacuation.
- Special equipment for employees.
- Appropriate respirators.
- How employees must report emergencies. Some use internal telephone numbers, intercom, or public address systems to notify other employees. It is important for employees to also notify the proper authorities such as fire, medical, or rescue services, if your company relies on this type of assistance during an emergency.
Employers are required to have and maintain an employee alarm system that has distinctive sound to signal employees to evacuate the building or area. Additionally, employers must designate and train key employees to assist in the safe and orderly evacuation of other employees.
When the EAP changes, those changes must be shared with the employees who are trained to execute the plan during an emergency.
OSHA offers an online evaluation to assist businesses and organizations with a process for developing an EAP. Click Here.
Neff Rental maintains EAPs in all of its branches and at its corporate office. Our facilities periodically hold practice drills to test the EAP system and ensure compliance with local, state and federal safety rules. For more information about Neff Rental, visit www.NeffRental.com or to locate a branch near your next job site, call 888-709-NEFF.