OSHA Compliance: Emergency Action Plan

Did you know that when you have move than 10 employees, OSHA requires that you maintain a Written Emergency Action Plan?

You never know when disaster may strike which is why it’s critical to prepare for events that might result in a disruption to your business. The results of having an action plan and not are striking – and can even be the difference between staying in business or closing your doors.

The OSHA Requirement

Almost every business is required to have an emergency action plan. The minimum qualifications include if fire extinguishers are present and if anyone will be evacuating during an emergency.  This is going to include any employer who has both a brick and mortar location and employees.

Furthermore, if you have more than 10 employees, you action plan must be in writing.

Here are the Minimum Requirements that Your Emergency Action Plan Must Include:

  • A means of reporting fires or other emergencies
  • Evacuation procedures and emergency route assignments
  • Procedures for employees who remain to operate critical plant operations before evacuation
  • Accounting for all employees after an emergency evacuation
  • Rescue and Medical duties for employees who are performing them
  • Names and/or titles, along with contact information, of the people who can be contacted

Considering All Potential Emergencies

As with all good risk management, the key to an effective plan is identification.

Potential Emergencies to consider for your Emergency Action Plan

Some of the items on this list may not be relevant to you based either on your location or business operations. Importantly, you may also have some potential emergencies to consider that are unique to your operations.

Employee Training and Drills

As children, we all went through various drills in school.  Older generations may remember nuclear attack drills.  Younger generations have active shooter drills.  We’ve all had fire drills.  Just because you and your employees are no longer children doesn’t mean that these drills aren’t still important to have.

Practicing drills without an actual threat present allows for your people to build some muscle memory for the case when an actual threat does exist. The last time you want to be practicing drills for the first time is in an actual emergency.

Beyond OSHA Compliance

Despite the fact the OSHA requires employers to have Emergency Action Plans – many simply do not.  The reality of the situation is that OSHA can’t be everywhere and unless you have a real emergency situation, OSHA may never know whether or not you have an Emergency Action Plan in place.

But let’s take a look at some of the reasons why employers should consider implementing an Emergency Action Plan beyond simple OSHA compliance:

  1. Workplace Culture
    Your employees know whether or not you actually care about them by the actions you take. Yes, they may complain about drills, but underneath that, you’ll find that employees do care about their own safety – especially if their work involves risk of injury.  The tone set at the top of your organization is fundamental to how these practices are implemented.  Building a culture that involves taking care of your employees will lead to less employee turnover and an easier time finding new talent.
  2. An Improved Bottom Line
    Emergencies will happen.  They may be large or small, but they will happen eventually simply because there is only so much that we can control.  How you respond to those emergencies can leave you anywhere from business as usual to closing your doors forever.  An Emergency Action Plan gives your employees stand a better chance of walking away unharmed.  Your business stands a better chance of resuming operations quickly with little down time.  Without an Emergency Action Plan, an emergency will more likely result in serious injury, reputational harm, a long recovery time, losing customers, and even shutting down operations.
  3. Decreased Insurance Costs
    The finer details of your Emergency Action Plan can be part of how we present you to the insurance companies.  Whether it’s your own employees, your clients and customers, or all of the above, the potential for bodily injury remains a top concern for underwriters evaluating the risks of your business.  An Emergency Action Plan is one of the things we leverage to improve the terms of your insurance program and reduce its costs.

Are You Ready for Your Emergency Action Plan Assessment?

Our philosophy is to provide value to you through assessments and compliance checks to identify areas where you can improve compliance and avoid fines & penalties, and accidents & injuries. We work through this process with both current and prospective clients because it makes a real difference to both employers and employees.

If you’re ready for your Emergency Action Plan Assessment – or an Assessment in another area of your business that we can help with – please reach out to us at contact@stillwellriskpartners.com or schedule an appointment here.

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Are you ready to save time, aggravation, and money? The team at Stillwell Risk Partners is here and ready to make the process as painless as possible. We look forward to meeting you!

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