Emergency Action Plans - National Safety Council
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Emergency Action Plans

Emergency preparedness includes written plans and procedures for employees on the correct action to take before, during and after an emergency. Most businesses are required by OSHA to have an emergency action plan, but all businesses, whether required or not, can benefit from one.  An emergency action plan should be written and accessible to employees and updated frequently. It should include:

  • Procedures for notifying employees of an emergency
  • Procedures for reporting an emergency to authorities (calling 9-1-1 is important but remember: emergency personnel can take up to 10 minutes to arrive)
  • An evacuation plan with exit routes and procedures for employees who remain to operate critical equipment
  • Procedures to account for employees after evacuation
  • Contact information for employees who want more information or an explanation of their duties under the EAP

Did you know that OSHA requires organizations with 11 or more employees to have a written emergency plan available for employees?Another important requirement is that at least one employee per shift needs to have adequate training in first aid if a clinic or hospital is farther than three or four minutes from the business. Learn more about OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910.38, Emergency Action Plans.

OSHA offers information and an eTool on creating an emergency action plan based on Federal OSHA Emergency Action Plan requirements and is suitable for many small to medium-sized establishments. Note: You may need to contact your state OSHA office if you are covered by a state OSHA plan. As a benefit of NSC membership, you have many member-exclusive tools and resources at your fingertips to help educate and engage staff on what to do in an emergency. Here are just a few:

If you have questions about emergency action plans – or any safety question – send an email to [email protected] for a direct and personalized response.