You Say Egress, I say Exit

Nov. 7, 2002
OSHA has rewritten the requirements for exiting buildings quickly during an emergency in easier-to-understand language. The revised Exit Routes, Emergency Action Plans, and Fire Prevention Plans Standard becomes effective on Dec. 7.

"Having a clear plan and procedure for exiting a building as safely as possible, if necessary, is one of the most basic and important safety precautions," said OSHA Administrator John Henshaw. "OSHA's standard was over 30 years old and in need of updating. The changes to the language in this rule will make it more clear and consistent, and aid workers and employers alike in understanding the requirements of the standard."

The requirements for exit routes have been rewritten in simple, straight- forward, easy to understand terms. For example, "means of egress" will now be referred to as "exit routes." The text has been reorganized and inconsistencies and duplicative requirements have been removed. The revised rule has fewer subparagraphs and a smaller number of cross-references to other OSHA standards than the previous version.

Employers now have the option of adopting the National Fire Protection Association's Life Safety Code instead of the OSHA standard for exit routes. OSHA evaluated the NFPA standard and concluded that it provides comparable safety.

The revised standard, which offers more compliance options for employers, does not change the regulatory obligations of the employer or the safety and health protections provided to the employees of the original standard.

The Exit Routes, Emergency Action Plans, and Fire Prevention Plans standard is scheduled for publication in today's Federal Register.

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.

Sponsored Recommendations

Free Webinar: ISO 45001 – A Commitment to Occupational Health, Safety & Personal Wellness

May 30, 2024
Secure a safer and more productive workplace using proven Management Systems ISO 45001 and ISO 45003.

ISO 45003 – Psychological Health and Safety at Work

May 30, 2024
ISO 45003 offers a comprehensive framework to expand your existing occupational health and safety program, helping you mitigate psychosocial risks and promote overall employee...

DH Pace, national door and dock provider, reduces TRIR and claims with EHS solution

May 29, 2024
Find out how DH Pace moved from paper/email/excel to an EHS platform, changing their culture. They reduced TRIR from 4.8 to 1.46 and improved their ability to bid on and win contracts...

Case Study: Improve TRIR from 4+ to 1 with EHS Solution and Safety Training

May 29, 2024
Safety training and EHS solutions improve TRIR for Complete Mechanical Services, leading to increased business. Moving incidents, training, and other EHS procedures into the digital...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of EHS Today, create an account today!