Emergency Action and Fire Prevention Plans
OSHA defines the application of EAPs in 29 CFR 1910.38(a) and FPPs in 29 CFR 1910.39(a) as: “An employer must have an EAP or FPP whenever an OSHA standard in this part (1910) requires one.”
These nine standards require organizations to have an EAP:
- 1910.119 Process Safety Management (PSM) of Highly Hazardous Chemicals
- 1910.120 Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER)
- 1910.157 Portable Fire Suppression Equipment
- 1910.160 Fixed Extinguishing Systems, General
- 1910.164 Fire Detection Systems
- 1910.272 Grain Handling Facilities
- 1910.1047 Ethylene Oxide (EtO)
- 1910.1050 Methylenedianiline (MDA)
- 1910.1051 1,3-Butadiene
Organizations covered by the EtO, MDA or 1,3-Butadiene standards must also have a FPP in place.
The plans must be in writing, kept in the workplace and available for employees for review. However, employers with 10 or fewer employees may communicate the plans orally to employees. The plans must be reviewed with each covered employee when:
- The plans are developed or the employee is assigned initially to a job;
- The employee’s responsibilities under the plans change; and
- The plans are changed.
EAPs and FPPs may vary to comply with specific company operations, but must follow the guidelines set by OSHA.
According to 29 CFR 1910.38(c), at a minimum, EAPs must include the following:
- Procedures for reporting a fire or other emergency;
- Emergency evacuation procedures 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, contractors and guests after emergency evacuations have been completed;
- Rescue and medical duties for those employees who are to perform them; and
- Names or job titles of persons who may be contacted for additional information or further explanation of duties under the EAP.
All employees must be familiar with the evacuation signal, whether it’s communicated verbally or by bells, whistles or sirens. The alarm system must comply with the scope, application, general requirements, installation and restoration, maintenance, testing and manual operation as stated in 29 CFR1910.165 – Employee Alarm Systems.
Per 29 CFR 1910.39(c), at a minimum, FPPs must include the following:
- A list of all major fire hazards, proper handling and storage procedures for hazardous materials, potential ignition sources and their control, and the type of fire protection equipment necessary to control each major hazard; Procedures to control accumulations of flammable and combustible waste materials;
- Procedures for regular maintenance of safeguards installed on heat-producing equipment to prevent the accidental ignition of combustible materials;
- Names or job titles of employees responsible for maintaining equipment to prevent or control sources of ignition or fires; and names or job titles of employees responsible for fuel source hazard control.
Employees must know the alarm procedure, where to find alarms and how to sound or activate them. Emergency phone numbers must be posted by phones. Employees must respond immediately when the alarm is sounded, whether it is a drill or an actual fire. Personal work areas must be secured, if time permits, by turning off machinery or equipment, securing hazardous materials or locking up confidential documents.
Establishing EAPs and FPPs and facilitating employee training helps prevent injuries and deaths in the workplace. Saving lives is the main goal for EAPs and FPPs. Just because an organization has an EAP and FPP, doesn’t mean they are prepared for an emergency. The plans only work if employees know and follow the emergency procedures. For additional information on OSHA’s means of egress requirements please see QuickTip #268.
Find even more information you can use to help make informed decisions about the regulatory issues you face in your workplace every day. View all Quick Tips Technical Resources at www.grainger.com/quicktips.
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The information contained in this publication is intended for general information purposes only and is based on information available as of the initial date of publication. No representation is made that the information or references are complete or remain current. This publication is not a substitute for review of the current applicable government regulations and standards specific to your location and business activity, and should not be construed as legal advice or opinion. Readers with specific questions should refer to the applicable standards or consult with an attorney.
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