Fact Sheet Offers Info about Emergency Escape Routes

April 17, 2003
Knowing how to escape from your workplace during an emergency is not just another safety and health issue requiring compliance by employers and consideration by workers; knowing how to get out safely and quickly can save your life.

OSHA has developed the Emergency Exit Routes fact sheet, which is designed to ensure employers and workers understand regulations for emergency escape routes. The fact sheet augments the agency's standard on exit routes, and emergency action and fire prevention plans.

"No one should need reminding how quickly an event can occur that necessitates emergency evacuation from the workplace," said OSHA Administrator John Henshaw. "The information we've compiled in this fact sheet provides a readily-available tool to aid employers and workers in being prepared to safely evacuate their workplaces should an emergency occur."

Information in the fact sheet:

  • Defines exit routes
  • Explains how many exit routes a worksite should have
  • Provides information on how to design an exit route that will ensure safe evacuation for all workers
  • Offers a list of required maintenance, safeguarding and operational features for exit routes
  • Provides information on emergency action plan requirements, detailing the plan's minimum elements, such as procedures for reporting fires and other emergencies, personnel accountability, alarm systems, etc.
  • Outlines minimum provisions and requirements for fire prevention plans Gives a list of resources for more details on exit routes and related OSHA standards

OSHA recently revamped its 30-year-old standard dealing with exit routes, emergency action and fire prevention plans. The revised standard was effective on Dec. 9, 2002.

About the Author

Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith is the former content director of EHS Today, and is currently the EHSQ content & community lead at Intelex Technologies Inc. She has written about occupational safety and health and environmental issues since 1990.

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