#YHSafetyTips - Evacuation Safety

Posted by Kahla Livelsberger in #YHSafetyTips, May 10, 2017

The best way to protect your employees from an emergency is to have an emergency evacuation plan or emergency action plan (EAP) in place. According to OSHA, every company must have one. It is very important that your employees know the procedures and routines of what to do in case of an emergency. When you have an EAP in place it will result in fewer and less severe employee injuries. It will also lessen the chance of structural damage to the facility.

OSHA Standard 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.

When planning your EAP, it is important to include your management and front-line employees. You want to make sure you know the specific work site layout, structural features, and emergency systems. If the company has 10 or less employees, you do not need a written plan per OSHA – an oral plan will work. If you company is larger than 10 employees, you want to be sure you have the plan written down so that any employee can access it at any time.

OSHA Standard 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.

You must include the following in your plan:
-Means of reporting fires and other emergencies
-Evacuation procedures and emergency escape route assignments
-Procedures for employees who remain to operate critical plant operations before they evacuate
-Accounting for all employees after an emergency evacuation has been completed
-Rescue and medical duties for employees performing them
-Names or job titles of persons who can be contacted

As an employer, you want to assign important and responsible employees to help plan and implement your EAP. You need to keep your plan updated and regularly review it with all of your employees and have practice drills so everyone knows exactly what to do in case of an emergency. When you train with you employees you should go over the following:

-Individual roles and responsibilities
-Threats, hazards, and protective actions
-Notification, warning, and communications procedures
-Means for locating family members in an emergency
-First aid kit
-Emergency response procedures
-Evacuation, shelter, and accountability procedures
-Location and use of common emergency equipment
-Emergency shutdown procedures

Check back next week to read about Summer Safety Part 2. If you didn’t see last week’s post, read it here.

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