Fire Prevention & Emergency Action Plans
In any building there is the risk of a fire, and all employees should be prepared as to how to handle this sudden and unexpected emergency. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, it is important that all companies have fire prevention and emergency action plans in place. At Arnold & Itkin, we are dedicated to keeping companies accountable and seeking compensation on behalf of injured workers. If you are harmed because your company did not have an emergency action plan or a fire prevention plan, then you may be able to sue for damages.
Emergency Action Plans
Emergency action plans are guidelines that will be used in the event of a sudden emergency in the office. Companies with less than 10 people can communicate this plan orally, with those with 10+ need to post it on a poster in a place where it is visible for all employees to review. Chosen employees may be designated to assist in an evacuation process. These employees are required to receive assigned jobs and be trained to carry out those jobs. If an employee's role changes then he or she is required to attend a meeting to learn about the changes.
The OSHA has provided minimum elements that must be included in every emergency action plan:
- Procedures for reporting fires and emergencies
- Procedures for emergency evacuation
- Exit route assignments
- Procedures for employees that may need to stay behind in the event of an emergency
- Procedures to account for all employees post-evacuation
- Alarm systems set
- Procedures for employees to perform rescue operations
- Procedures for employees to perform medical duties
Fire Prevention Plans
A fire prevention plan is different from an emergency action plan, in that it only concerns the possibility of a fire. There are minimum provisions required by the OSHA for fire prevention plans as well. These involve:
- Listing all major fire hazards
- Training employees how to handle hazardous materials
- Listing the types of protection necessary to control major hazards
- Creating plans to control accumulations of flammable or combustible materials
- Maintaining safeguards installed on heat-producing equipment to prevent ignition
- Designating employees to maintain equipment and prevent or control sources of ignition or fires
- Naming employees responsible to control fuel source hazards
If you work at a company where these requirements were not followed, then you may be able seek compensation if you are injured as a result. All companies need to make sure to enforce their emergency action and fire prevention plans in order to enhance the safety of those around them.
If you want more information or think that you may have a case, contact an attorney at Arnold & Itkin LLP today for more information!