(Updated June 2019) Emergency Action Plan (EAP): Evacuation Maps. You see them, but do you need them?
OSHA does not require facilities to have a printed map for evacuation in the case of an emergency; but other governmental agencies may. Check with your insurance carrier, fire marshal and state and local agencies that may require evacuation maps. But OSHA does have requirements for your Emergency Action Plan (EAP).
An EAP is required for any facility with 11 more employees. OSHA allows facilities with 10 or fewer employees to communicate their EAP plan orally. Whether presented in writing or verbally, the EAP must have the following minimum elements as described in the OSHA standard 1910.39(c)(1)-(6).
- Procedures for reporting a fire or other emergency
- Procedures for emergency evacuation, including the type of evacuation and exit route assignments
- Procedures for employees who remain to operate critical operations before they evacuate.
- Procedure to account for all employees after an evacuation.
- Procedures to be followed by employees performing rescue or medical duties.
- The name or job title of every employee who may be contacted by employees who need more information about the plan or an explanation of their duties under the plan
Evacuation maps serve as a great visual tool to communicate important information from your EAP plan.
So whether you are required or you choose to utilize an evacuation map, make it your best.
The best evacuation map is one that is studied before an emergency! Include a review of your EAP and evacuation map when you have your periodic safety meetings and as a part of your new hire orientation. Place a copy of your evacuation map in areas where an exit route is not immediately apparent or near emergency lighting. It is easy to become disoriented if you are in a new environment, panicked or in the dark. Place a copy of your evacuation map in your EAP.
In addition to exit locations and routes, the map should indicate the location of safety tools for various types of emergency situations. Elements for a great evacuation map include:
- “You are here”
- Exits/handicapped accessible exit locations
- Exit routes with alternate routes
- Fire extinguisher locations
- Fire alarm locations
- First aid material locations
- Oxygen tank locations
- PPE locations
- AED locations
- Spill kit locations
- Tornado/hurricane/earthquake/safe room locations
- Security desk locations
- Restroom locations
- Roof accessibility
- Emergency phones and contact number locations
- Electrical panel locations
- Specific safe meeting place for assembly after evacuation
You can design your own evacuation map or find a professional to assist you. Map creating software is also an option. Check out OSHA’s interactive floorplan for a live example. No matter how you proceed, an evacuation map should be accurate, detailed and strategically posted to best protect you, your employees and patients.
For assistance with determining where evacuation maps should be posted and ensuring that your EAP meets the requirements, reach out to us at Total Medical Compliance for help. We offer on-site audits, in-person and online OSHA training for employees, and other OSHA resources to help you and your team stay compliant.