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Emergency Action Plans

An Emergency Action Plan (EAP) is a written program required by OSHA 29 CFR 1910.38 that contains step-by-step procedures to follow in emergency situations. Creating and implementing an effective emergency action plan can be the difference between life and death at your facility. Companies that plan and prepare for emergencies make a substantial difference in preventing employee injuries and structural damage to their facility. An effective EAP consists of the following:

  • Means of reporting all emergencies in your facility for fast response and action.

  • Emergency contact information for first responders (police, fire and first aid squads) that are in close proximity to your facility if additional support is needed in the event of an emergency.

  • Emergency Response Team (ERT) - chosen employees at your facility that are familiar with the facility’s emergency procedures and have received training in the use of facility firefighting equipment, severe weather protocols and hazardous waste spills containment and clean-up.

  • Evacuation Assembly Areas - a designated area located outside the facility where all employees would report for a head count during an evacuation situation.

  • Procedures to account for all employees - critical step to ensure all employees have evacuated the building and make it to the designated area outside. Often consist of selected employees doing sweeps of their areas to ensure no one is left behind. Missing employees would be identified and reported to off-site first responders.

  • Creation of specific detailed evacuation procedures for various emergency situations that may occur in your facility (fire, chemical release, explosion, medical, severe weather, civil disturbance, bomb threat, etc.).

An evacuation map must be posted in conspicuous locations throughout your facility identifying exit routes and other critical information. Facilities need to plan and execute semi-annual drills so that all employees are familiar with the procedure, and must ensure that all new employees are briefed. For more information go to:

Many facilities combine their EAP into other documents used for emergency response. If your facility has a Contingency Plan for hazardous waste, it normally contains all of the elements of the EAP as required by OSHA. Other facilities combine all of their response plans into one document which is referred to as an Integrated Contingency Plan (ICP).

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