September 2015 - Emergency Action Plan Creation and Review

Submitted by Stephen Rodgers

OK, Emergency Action Plan (EAP) pop quiz time.  Where can you find the requirements? Means of egress 1910.38 to start with.  How many of you have more than 10 employees? If you do, your EAP must be in writing.  So you think you’re safe if you have less than 10?  Wrong, you still must have plans.  They don’t have to be in writing but they must be communicated to your employees.  How do you comply?  If you haven’t, here is a tool to make your life much easier.

The most daunting thing in the world is a blank piece of paper.  Starting something from scratch is very stressful to most people.  In order to help, OSHA has created a great eTool to help you create Emergency Action Plans.   Go to the Evacuation Plans and Procedures eTool page at  You will find all the resources to create those plans and procedures.  

The top tabs include links to Emergency Standards, Expert Systems and other Additional Assistance.  The lower tabs expand on Minimum Requirements, Development & Implement EAP, Evacuation Elements, Shelter-in-Place, Fight or Flee, Fire Rescue Medical Services, and Reporting Emergencies. 

Using the Expert System and Your site specific information you can create plans very quickly.  Depending on what kind of hazards you have on your specific site, it may take only minutes to create a plan that in an emergency may save lives.  The first step is to perform a workplace evaluation identifying hazards, specific worksite layout, structural features, and emergency systems. 

Using this page you can create a great program.  Unfortunately a plan sitting on a shelf doesn’t help anyone.  Once you create you plan, train your people and exercise your plan.  Realistic exercises can be used to evaluate your plans effectiveness and how to fix unforeseen problems.

For the answers to these and many other questions or for a schedule of training courses offered at no charge by SCATS, call toll free 1.877.4SAFENV [1-(877)-472-3368], or visit,