Spot the OSHA Violation

Is This What You’d Call an Emergency Exit?

Date First Published on SafetySmart Compliance: August 15th, 2014
Topics: Fire Protection |

What’s wrong with this picture?

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Emergency exits that people can’t actually use in an emergency are a death trap responsible for countless deaths—and OSHA violations.

The Moral: OSHA (Section 1910.36(d)(1)) requires you to ensure that workers are able to open exit route doors “from the inside at all times without keys, tools or special knowledge.” The padlocked exit door in this photo is clearly not in compliance.

Safe Evacuation During Emergencies: What’s at Stake

3 Reasons to Pay Attention

  1. Fires, floods, tornadoes, earthquakes and other disasters can strike while you’re at work
  1. Being prepared significantly improves your chances of surviving these disasters without serious injury
  1. The most fundamental step in disaster preparation is knowing how, when and where to evacuate

6 Ways to Prepare for Emergencies

1. The method for reporting fires and other workplace emergencies

2. The evacuation policy and procedures

3. The emergency evacuation routes and exits

4. Names, titles, departments and contact information of emergency coordinators and evacuation wardens

5. The procedures for emergency shutdown, extinguish fires and any other procedures you’re responsible for performing under the emergency response plan

6. Any rescue or medical procedures you’re required to perform


8 Emergency Dos and Don’ts

  • DO make sure you know the emergency exit(s) in your building
  • DON’T keep large objects like boxes or equipment in emergency exits
  • DON’T keep explosives or flammable objects in emergency exits
  • DO remove any large objects that are blocking emergency exits—or ask your supervisor to do
  • DO make sure emergency exits are well lit—if they’re not tell your supervisor
  • DO make sure emergency exits are kept unlocked from the inside so people can use them to escape the building in an emergency—no padlocks!
  • DO tell your supervisor if an emergency exit is padlocked or otherwise not readily available to use in an emergency
  • DON’T panic or stampede if an emergency does occur—evacuate calmly and help those who need assistance evacuatin

For More Help:

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