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Emergency Action Plans – Evacuations
Almost every business is required to have an emergency action plan (EAP). An EAP is a written document required by particular OSHA standards. The purpose of an EAP is to facilitate and organize employer and employee actions during workplace emergencies. Well-developed emergency plans and proper employee training will result in fewer and less severe injuries and less damage to the workplace during emergencies. A poorly prepared plan is more likely to lead to a disorganized evacuation or emergency response, resulting in misunderstandings, injury, and property damage. For smaller job sites, an EAP does not need to be written and may be communicated orally if there are 10 employees or less.
If you’ve been injured on the job, contact New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney Dan Matrafajlo for advice about your particular situation.
The EAP must include, but are not limited to:
- Conditions under which an evacuation would be necessary.
- Conditions under which it may be better to stay in place.
- 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.
- A clear chain of command and designation of the person in your business authorized to order an evacuation or shutdown.
- Evacuation procedures and emergency escape route assignments.
- Rescue and medical duties for those employees who are to perform them.
- Procedures for assisting visitors and employees to evacuate, particularly those with disabilities or who do not speak English.
- Designation of which, if any, employees will remain after the evacuation alarm to shut down critical operations or perform other duties before evacuating.
- A way to accounting for employees after an evacuation.
In most fire conditions, immediate evacuation is the best policy, especially if professional firefighting services are available to respond quickly. There may be situations where employee firefighting is warranted to give other workers time to escape, or to prevent danger to others by spread of a fire.
If you’ve been injured on the job, New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney Dan Matrafajlo may be able to help. Call today for a case evaluation.