11. Due to a number of regulatory bodies that stipulates requirements of buildings, sometimes the requirements overlap and being compliant to one can imply compliance to one or more others. Differences in the requirements can occur in the description of the requirements themselves or in the definitions of major terminologies. In terms of basic safety requirements, both the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the 2009 edition of the National Fire Protection Association regulations (NFPA 101-2009) are similar. The NFPA 101-2009, however, contains more detail than the requirements addressed in OSHA standards 1910.34, 1910.36, and 1910.37 that addresses the safety requirements, specifically exit routes for the workplace in case of a fire or other emergencies.
The definitions for both requirements are not significantly different. Although the NFPA 101-2009 is more detailed, it misses out on a significant requirement on the OSHA. Standard 1910.36 of the OSHA stipulates regulations to be followed on the design and construction of exit routes. It requires under section (e) that a side hinged door must be used to connect rooms to exit routes which have to open outwards towards the route of escape in case the chamber is to accommodate more than 50 or is in an area of high hazard. This requirement is not stated specifically in NFPA 101-2009. Relying on the NFPA 101-2009 is therefore not advisable as when these requirements are not complied with increases the risk of harm to employees in case of an emergency.
12. The emergency action plan of the OSHA requirements standards stipulates that employers have an emergency action plan which must be in writing and kept in the working place. The action plan must also be made available to employees for review. An exception is provided that the action plan can be communicated orally to employees if they are less than ten. The requirements also set the minimum elements that an emergency action plan can contain which are; reporting procedures to be followed in case of a fire or other emergencies. Evacuation procedures that include the type of evacuation to be carried out and allocations of exit routes. Procedures that employees who remain operating vital plant operations will follow once it is possible. Procedures to be followed to account for all employees after evacuation is done. Procedures to be followed by employees that will be giving out rescue medical attention. Details of employees, name or job title, of each and every employee that may be referred to by employees who need clarifications or further information on the duties, to play in the plan or the general plan itself. Employee alarms that comply with standard 1910.165 of the OSHA must be maintained by the employer and should also use unique signals for different purposes. An employer must facilitate training and designate employees to help evacuate the rest in a safe and orderly manner. Every employee included in the action plan must review it with the employer on three occasions, when either the plan is newly developed or an employee is assigned to a new job, responsibilities under the plan change, or when the plan is completely changed.
Although there exist a well-written action plan and most of these requirements being complied with in my workplace, the reviewing of the plan are not done as stated in the requirements. There being approximately 60 percent part-time employees, the company fails to provide training to a majority of employees and, therefore, is not adequate. The company, therefore, has a problem implementing the stipulations of reviewing the action plan.
Large manufacturing plants can use supervisors to train employees in different departments about the general structure of the emergency action plan while giving details about their specific roles in evacuation only. This will save on time spent in training and is more manageable.
- Ron Cote, P. E. & Harrington, P. E. (2009). Life Safety Code Handbook. ( 11th Ed.). National Fire Protection Association. Quincy, Massachusetts.
- United States Department of Labor. March 20, 2016. Web.