Ask the Expert, Emergency Preparedness and Response

Ask the Expert: Rules for In-House Emergency Responders

In our latest installment of Ask the Expert, brought to you by the team of industry experts at EHS Hero®, we look at a recent question from a subscriber asking about whether companies must have first responders on staff. See what the experts had to say.

emergency responders

Q: Are all companies required to have first responders and, if so, how many and what training is required for them?

This would depend on the company’s type of operation as well as the type of first responder.

Emergency preparation is required for specific operations such as where employees work with hazardous substances (e.g., HAZWOPER and asbestos) and for confined spaces. Emergency response training for employees is required in many of OSHA’s emergency preparedness rules.

The general industry rules for emergency preparedness that apply to a wide variety of workplaces cover:

  • Exit routes—29 CFR 1910.33 to 1910.37
  • Emergency action plan (EAP)—29 CFR 1910.38
  • Fire prevention plan (FPP)—29 CFR 1910.39
  • Exit routes, EAP, and FPP guidance—29 CFR 1910 Subpart E Appendix
  • Employee alarm systems—29 CFR 1910.165
  • Medical services and first aid—29 CFR 1910.151

The following rules support or supplement the general industry rules for emergency preparedness and address safety and health for emergency responders:

  • Bloodborne pathogens—29 CFR 1910.1030 (supplements first-aid requirements)
  • Hazard communication—29 CFR 1910.1200 (emergencies with hazardous chemicals)
  • PPE—29 CFR 1910.132 to 1910.138
  • Respiratory protection—29 CFR 1910.134
  • Permit-required confined spaces—29 CFR 1910.146(k) (rescue and emergency services)
  • Fire brigades—29 CFR 1910.156 (industrial, private, or contractual fire departments)

More information is available in BLR’s emergency preparedness regulatory analysis.

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