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Emergency Action Plan

Last revision Last revision 03/31/2024
Formats FormatsWord and PDF
Size Size4 to 6 pages
Fill out the template

Last revisionLast revision: 03/31/2024

FormatsAvailable formats: Word and PDF

SizeSize: 4 to 6 pages

Fill out the template

An Emergency Action Plan is a written document meant to facilitate and organize employer and employee actions during workplace emergencies. The plan outlines a systematic approach to prepare for, respond to, and recover from a variety of common emergency situations that may be experienced in a workplace. The plan also creates an emergency response team, identifying individuals with skills and responsibilities that would be beneficial in emergencies.

Having a plan in place is beneficial because it means that individuals do not have to create a response under the pressure of the moment, when judgment may be clouded or hindered by the pressure of reacting to a stressful event. Emergency Action Plans give employees and employers options in advance so they can be exercised in times of crisis and others will know ahead of time what to expect in otherwise unpredictable circumstances. Well-developed emergency plans, along with proper employee training, result in fewer and less severe employee injuries and less structural damage to employer facilities during emergencies.

How to use this document

This document includes everything necessary to create a comprehensive Emergency Action Plan. The document addresses the following topics:

  • Emergency Response Team: The plan names individuals in charge of the emergency response, as well as individuals with training in important skills such as CPR or fire extinguisher use. By creating pre-defined roles, the plan ensures that when the moment comes, there is no confusion about leadership or responsibilities.
  • Communication Protocol: The plan outlines the various methods, such as alarm bells, text notifications, or phone calls, that will be used to alert employees to emergencies.
  • Evacuation Procedures: The plan provides clear instructions about how to evacuate the building, where employees should congregate once they have evacuated, and the procedure that will be used to account for employees after the evacuation.
  • Emergency Circumstances: There is the option to include, along with the standard fire and medical emergencies, plans for additional emergencies, such as severe weather (e.g., tornados, hurricanes, earthquakes, etc.), active shooter situations, and bomb threats.

After developing the Emergency Action Plan, the employer should be sure to provide employees with a copy and have them sign and date the plan. It is also best practice to update the Employee Handbook, if one exists, to include verbiage about the plan. If desired, the employer can also document the employees' acknowledgement of the plan in their personnel files once they are returned.

Applicable law

Emergency Action Plans are primarily governed by the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA). OSHA is a federal law concerned with workplace safety. OSHA mandates that employers provide a safe workplace for employees, including the development and implementation of emergency action plans to address potential hazards. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) also has standards and guidance on developing comprehensive emergency preparedness and response plans. Depending on the location and nature of the office, there may be additional local or state laws and regulations that apply.

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