OSHA has a lot to say about emergency preparedness, and that means you have to identify all the requirements so that you can prepare your workplace and your workforce to meet the standards.
Effective workplace emergency planning is the key to saving lives, preventing injuries, and protecting facilities from damage. So it’s clearly something all employers want to do and need to do, but don’t always get around to doing.
But emergency planning isn’t really an option. It’s a federal OSHA requirement, as well as a state requirement. So you have to be sure you’re meeting the requirements.
What OSHA Requires
OSHA says you have to prepare for workplace emergencies in various ways. For example, by having:
- A written emergency action plan for evacuating or sheltering employees (29 CFR 1910.38)
- A fire prevention plan designed to protect employees from the ravages of workplace fires (29 CFR 1910.39)
- Functioning and effective alarm systems (29 CFR 1910.165) and fire suppression systems (29 CFR 1910.157-163)
- Well-marked emergency exits (29 CFR 1910.37)
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OSHA also requires you to train employees, informing them about your emergency action plans and giving them other critical disaster response information.
That means your emergency training has to cover all the basics, including:
• Emergency reporting
• Evacuation routes and emergency exits
• Rules for sheltering in place
• Emergency duties
• Location of fire extinguishers, first-aid kits, etc.
• Assembly areas outside the building
Emergency response isn’t something that just happens. It has to be learned—and it has to be practiced. Hold regular emergency drills to make sure procedures remain fresh in employees’ minds and to make sure that they will respond effectively in a real emergency.
Fortunately, all the details of all the OSHA emergency action requirements are easy to access if you have access to the Emergency Planning and Response checklists in BLR’s Safety Audit Checklists. All in one place, you’ll find checklists detailing key disaster planning topics like:
Basic preparedness requirements, including employee training
- Exit routes and evacuations
- Fire safety
- Portable fire extinguishers
- Fire detection and employee alarm systems
- Emergency first aid
- Workplace violence
- Chemical spill containment
- Weather emergencies
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And That’s Just the Beginning!
Emergency preparedness is just one of many critical safety topics in Safety Audit Checklists. All told, this best-selling program provides you with more than 300 separate safety checklists keyed to three main criteria:
- OSHA compliance checklists, built right from the government standards in such key areas as HazCom, lockout/tagout, electrical safety, and many more.
- “Plaintiff attorney” checklists, built around those non-OSHA issues that often attract lawsuits.
- Safety management checklists that monitor the administrative procedures you need to have for topics such as OSHA 300 Log maintenance, training program scheduling and recording, and OSHA-required employee notifications.
Make as many copies as you need for all your supervisors and managers, and distribute. What’s more, the entire program is updated annually. And the cost averages only about $1 per checklist.
If this method of ensuring a safer, more OSHA-compliant workplace interests you, we’ll be happy to make Safety Audit Checklists available for a no-cost, no-obligation, 30-day evaluation in your office. Just let us know, and we’ll be pleased to arrange it.
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