What is an Emergency Action Plan?
An emergency action plan (EAP) is a written document required by particular OSHA standards [ 29 CFR 1910.38(a) ]. This part of the OSHA tower climbing certification. The purpose of an EAP is to facilitate and organize employer and employee actions during workplace emergencies. Well developed emergency plans and proper employee training (such that employees understand their roles and responsibilities within the plan) will result in fewer and less severe employee injuries during emergencies. A poorly prepared plan, likely will lead to a disorganized emergency response, resulting in confusion and greater injury or death.
Putting together a comprehensive emergency action plan that deals with those issues specific to your worksite is not difficult. It involves taking what was learned from your site hazard evaluation and describing how employees will respond to different types of emergencies, taking into account your specific worksite layout, structural features, and emergency systems. Most organizations find it beneficial to include a diverse group of representatives (management and employees) in this planning process and to meet frequently to review progress and allocate development tasks. The commitment and support of all employees is critical to the plan’s success in the event of an emergency; ask for their help in establishing and implementing your emergency action plan. For smaller organizations, the plan does not need to be written and may be communicated orally if there are 10 or fewer employees [ 29 CFR 1910.38(b) ].
At a minimum, the plan must include but is not limited to the following elements [ 29 CFR 1910.38(c) ]:
- Means of reporting fires and other emergencies
- Evacuation procedures and emergency escape route assignments
- Procedures to be followed by employees who remain to operate critical plant operations before they evacuate
- Procedures to account for all employees after an emergency evacuation has been completed
- Rescue and medical duties for those employees who are to perform them
- Names or job titles of persons who can be contacted for further information or explanation of duties under the plan
- OSHA tower climbing certification
Making sure that employees have the correct information they need to refer to when an emergency happens on a jobsite has never been easier; create a jobsite emergency action plan in 4 easy steps by leaving our site and visiting Wireless Estimator’s generate a Jobsite Emergency Action Plan page.
Click Here to Create an Emergency Action Plan
“Tower climbing remains the most dangerous job in America,” according to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Fatalities for all types of tower work per 100,000 workers in 2006 were 184, compared to 88 for pilots, 37 for farmers, 35 for utility-line workers, and 34 for roofers. Comprehensive renewable energy industry statistics are not available. But journalist Paul Gipe—the author of several books on wind power—has informally maintained records of wind energy deaths. By his count, 32 deaths occurred between 1975 and 2006, only three of which involved home-scale wind electric systems. These numbers may seem inconsequential until you consider the small size of the wind power industry, the few hundred people who work on towers, and above all, the tremendous loss for the families of those men and women.
Climbing towers is serious business, and accidents can and will happen. The sad but true reality is that most tower accidents are not caused by nature or the result of faulty equipment, but are the result of human error—lack of proper training and preparation, improper use of or lack of safety equipment, poor communication, or plain old carelessness. Ian Woofenden, Home Power Magazine issue #128