Emergency Evacuation

Do You Have A Plan?

Exit_signOSHA’s Emergency Action Plan standard requires a company to develop emergency action plans for employee evacuation due to fires, explosions, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, chemical release response, civil disturbances, workplace violence, and other foreseeable emergencies. OSHA’s Fire Prevention Plan requires the employer to minimize fire hazards through housekeeping, employee training, maintenance of fuel source hazards, and maintenance of fire suppression equipment.

All employers must have an Emergency Action Plan. Facilities with less than 10 employees still need to have these plans in place, however, written programs are not required. Oral plans can be communicated to the employees instead. All written plans must be kept at the workplace and made available for employee review. PRINTING United Alliance’s Emergency Action Plan Template includes both emergency action as well as fire prevention requirements. 

Components of an Emergency Action Plan


Your written plan for emergency action, must contain the following elements:

  • Your procedures for reporting a fire or other emergency
  • The procedures for emergency evacuation, including type of evacuation, (i.e., fire or explosion), the exit route assignments, and a designated rally point
  • The procedures for sheltering in place such as during a tornado, hurricane, or similar weather event
  • The procedures to be followed by employees who remain to operate critical plant operations before they evacuate
  • Identification of the location where employees will gather in case of an emergency
  • Procedure for accounting for all employees and visitors to the facility after evacuation
  • The 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
  • An alarm system to alert workers to evacuate

A distinct employee alarm system (e.g., one for evacuation and one for shelter in place) must be established to distinguish between the two types of emergencies. It is recommended that to reinforce the practice of emergency evacuation, a training program be established that includes responsibilities for each employee, new employee orientation and conducting mock emergencies.


An employer must designate and train employees to assist in a safe and orderly evacuation. Each employee, even those not designated to assist in evacuation, must be familiar with the emergency action plan and review the plan when the following occur:

  • The plan is developed, or an employee is initially hired
  • Employee’s responsibility under the plan changed
  • The plan changes

PRINTING United Alliance’s OSHA Compliance Resource Center provides technical assistance and services designed to allow printing operations to manage compliance and stay informed. For more information on Emergency Evacuation or PRINTING United Alliance’s EHS services, email govtaffairs@printing.org or call 888-385-3588.