Emergency Action Plan

Every place of employment is required to have an “Emergency Action Plan” in place, and it must be in writing if you have more than 10 employees. Even with 10 or fewer employees, it is highly recommended that you have this plan in writing. The following excerpt from the California Code of Regulations, Title 8, Section 3220 lists the minimum requirements for an Emergency Action Plan. 

§3220. Emergency Action Plan.

(a) Scope and Application. This section applies to all emergency action plans. The emergency action plan shall be in writing, except as provided in the last sentence of subsection (e)(3) of this section, and shall cover those designated actions employers and employees must take to ensure employee safety from fire and other emergencies.

(b) Elements. The following elements, at a minimum, shall be included in the plan:

(1) Emergency escape procedures and emergency escape route assignments;

(2) Procedures to be followed by employees who remain to operate critical plant operations before they evacuate;

(3) Procedures to account for all employees after emergency evacuation has been completed;

(4) Rescue and medical duties for those employees who are to perform them;

(5) The preferred means of reporting fires and other emergencies; and

(6) Names or regular job titles of persons or departments who can be contacted for further information or explanation of duties under the plan.

(c) Alarm System.

(1) The employer shall establish an employee alarm system which complies with Article 165.

(2) If the employee alarm system is used for alerting fire brigade members, or for other purposes, a distinctive signal for each purpose shall be used.

(d) Evacuation. The employer shall establish in the emergency action plan the types of evacuation to be used in emergency circumstances.

(e) Training.

(1) Before implementing the emergency action plan, the employer shall designate and train a sufficient number of persons to assist in the safe and orderly emergency evacuation of employees.

(2) The employer shall advise each employee of his/her responsibility under the plan at the following times:

(A) Initially when the plan is developed,

(B) Whenever the employee's responsibilities or designated actions under the plan change, and

(C) Whenever the plan is changed.

(3) The employer shall review with each employee upon initial assignment those parts of the plan which the employee must know to protect the employee in the event of an emergency. The written plan shall be kept at the workplace and made available for employee review. For those employers with 10 or fewer employees the plan may be communicated orally to employees and the employer need not maintain a written plan.  


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