Workplace emergencies can happen on any jobsite and may have the potential for severe injury to workers and even extreme property damages. Emergency Action Plans provide site-specific procedures so workers know what is expected and what to do in the event of an emergency.
According to OSHA, the purpose of an Emergency Action Plan (or EAP for short) is to facilitate and organize employer and employee actions during workplace emergencies.
The goal with any EAP is to prevent employee injuries and structural damage to the facility during emergencies.
OSHA Standard 1926.35(a) The emergency action plan shall be in writing and shall cover those designated actions employers and employees must take to ensure employee safety from fire and other emergencies. 1926.35(e)(3) For those employers with 10 or fewer employees the plan may be communicated orally to employees and the employer need not maintain a written plan.
In the event of an emergency all personnel must know to do or be aware of:
Examples of potential workplace emergencies that all staff must be prepared for include:
Site-specific emergency action plans (EAP) must be in place for every jobsite. The EAP should be in easy-to-read type and posted in multiple locations across the jobsite so every worker has the opportunity to review as needed.
The basic EAP that is posted should include:
Obviously the first instinct in any emergency is to call 911, but before any project starts, as the EAP is being developed, it is critical to verify that 911 is in effect in the area and to understand the emergency resources and facilities that are available for the specific jobsite.
Great tip! A copy of the most current EAP should be kept in every fleet vehicle.
Questions to consider include:
To be effective, all workers should be trained on the current emergency action plan for the site and sufficiently understand their role during any emergency.
OSHA Standard 1926.35(e)(1) Before implementing the emergency action plan, the employer shall designate and train a sufficient number of persons to assist in the safe and orderly emergency evacuation of employees.
Workers should be trained on the EAP:
Review the EAP with any new subcontractors on site.
Review the EAP with suppliers to ensure it covers all delivery and storage hazards.
Review the EAP with the job foreman or Safety Manager on a regular basis so the procedure remains current to the changes on the job site.
Post the EAP is multiple places on the job site and remind crews to review regularly.
While all employees should be trained on the Emergency Action Plan for the specific job site that they are currently working in, here are some important points all workers should remember.
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