EHS Management

CA Requires Emergency Action Plans

Employers at facilities with fixed extinguishing systems and fire detection systems must also develop an EAP. An employer (property owner or occupier) must have an EAP whenever a specific-Cal/OSHA rule requires one.

Cal/OSHA Strongly Recommends that ALL Businesses Have an EAP

An EAP must be in writing, kept in the workplace, and available to employees for review. Employers must develop safety procedures to protect employees from fire and other emergencies that may be reasonably expected to occur in the workplace.


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Facilities with the following processes, activities, or chemicals are required to have written EAPs:

  • Process Safety Management of Highly Hazardous Chemicals
  • Fixed Extinguishing Systems
  • Fire Detection Systems
  • Grain Handling
  • Ethylene Oxide
  • Methylenedianiline
  • 1,3 Butadiene

The EAP procedures may be communicated orally to employees at facilities with 10 or fewer employees.

EAP Elements

The elements of the EAP must include, but are not limited to:

  • Evacuation procedures and emergency escape route assignments
  • Procedures to be followed by employees who remain to operate critical plant operations before they evacuate
  • Procedures to account for all employees after an emergency evacuation has been completed
  • Rescue and medical duties for those employees who are to perform them
  • Means of reporting fires and other emergencies
  • Names or job titles of persons who can be contacted for further information or explanation of duties under the plan

Need to write a California-specific EAP? Here’s an easy template to use.


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Not in California?

Facilities or operations regulated under the following federal OSHA standards are  required to have written EAPs no matter what state they are located in:

  • 1910.119: Process Safety Management of Highly Hazardous Chemicals
  • 1910.157: Portable Fire Extinguishers (if employees are not trained in the use of extinguishers and are required to evacuate)
  • 1910.160: Fixed Extinguishing Systems, General
  • 1910.164: Fire Detection Systems
  • 1910.165: Employee Alarm Systems
  • 1910.272: Grain Handling
  • 1910.1047: Ethylene Oxide
  • 1910.1050: Methylenedianiline
  • 1910.1051: 1,3 Butadiene

There are also regulatory requirements to develop written emergency procedures or plans for a unique type of workplace or operation. For example, workplaces where employees may be exposed to such specific hazardous chemicals as cadmium, benzene, vinyl chloride, and formaldehyde must develop written plans for dealing with emergency situations involving releases of such substances. Special operations, such as operating powered platforms and working in confined spaces, require written plans for handling emergencies.