Emergency Action Plan (EAP): Is Your Business Prepared?

Emergency Action Plan (EAP): Is Your Business Prepared?

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What is an Emergency Action Plan (EAP)?

An Emergency Action Plan should review emergency situations that could occur in the workplace and how employees should deal with these situations. What is considered a workplace emergency? A workplace emergency is a situation that is harmful to employees and customers or disrupts the organization. This could include: 

  • Floods
  • Fires
  • Hurricanes
  • Workplace violence
  • Chemical spills
  • Tornados
  • Medical Emergencies

This plan is important in keeping employees aware of potential emergency situations to better prepare themselves to safely handle the situation. Employers with 10 or more employees must have their plan in writing and keep it in a conspicuous place where all employees can take the time to review it. 

What should an Emergency Action Plan include?

An EAP should include the procedures an employee should take to keep themselves and their team safe if an emergency situation takes place. OSHA’s minimum standards include:

  • 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

Additional information to add that is not required by OSHA may include: 

  • Determine an alarm system to notify employees to evacuate the building.
  • A secure location onsite or offsite to store duplicates of legal documents.

Where should the Emergency Action Plan information be posted in the workplace?

Emergency Action Plans should be stored in a place where each employee has access to review and understand the document. Employees should have access to this document at all times. 

Does OSHA provide an Emergency Action Plan template?

Yes, OSHA provides employers with a base template to help employers create their own EAP. Although, this template only provides information based on Federal OSHA Emergency Action Plan requirements and does not address Cal/OSHA. A service Bizhaven provides is partnering with our clients to build out a customized Emergency Action Plan, tailored to the specific industry. 

Should employers conduct training on procedures for employees? 

Yes! What good is an Emergency Action Plan if employees don’t understand the process and procedures? Employers should train their employees on the procedures so there is a clear understanding of the process and how to safely take action. This training is typically an hour long and is included in Bizhaven’s all-inclusive services. Your dedicated Safety Business Partner can conduct the training onsite or virtually to give your employees interactive training. This training provides employees with the information they need to react safely to emergency situations in the workplace. 

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