Here is definitive word on the Emergency plan and Fire Prevention plan. All of you that have plans (that don’t comply) are subject to fines. BUT if you don’t have a plan, then you are okay. I will bet most of you who have put something together are subject to citations. However, I want to restate that Cal OSHA is not looking to get employers, but this is the law. Small Business California will be working on this as we would think it is much better to try and fall short, than have nothing. Below is more elaborated explanation of this if you are interested.
“The Cal OSHA Appeals Board ruled in 1985 in its Educated Car Wash Decision after Reconsideration that employers are not required pursuant to T8CCR §3220 and §3221 to develop and implement written emergency action and fire plans. The Board wrote “Sections 3220 and 3221 do not have a corresponding charging or performance requirement. In other words, there is no safety order which mandates that an employer maintain an emergency action plan or a fire protection plan. However, when an employer voluntarily chooses to maintain such a plan, the standards set forth in Sections 3220 and 3221 detail the requirements of the plan and must be adhered to. Here, because Employer did not have an emergency action plan or a fire prevention plan, it cannot be cited for violating either safety order.”
That said, employers are required pursuant to §3203 “Injury and Illness Prevention Program” to identify, evaluate and control hazards in their respective workplaces. The IIPP is required to be written. Such hazards would include earthquake, fire, chemical release, for example. Cal OSHA’s “Model IIPP Program” references emergency action and fire prevention among its general safety and health practices. Enforcement of §3203 has remained fairly consistent since its inception in 1992. Predictably, questions have arisen as to just what needs to be included in an Emergency Action or Emergency Response Plan.
T8CCR §5189 (PSM) and §5192 (Hazardous Waste Operations) each require affected employers to develop and implement a written EAP and ERP. The California Fire Code requires all employers to develop emergency plans for addressing fires, to include contacting responders, evacuation procedures, assignment of responsibilities, etc. T8CCR §3203 anticipates that a reasonable employer will establish procedures for emergency situations.”
So the bottom line is as I told you on the phone, per the appeals board, you don’t have to have one, but if you do, it must comply.
Here are the two regs—you cited one of them already.
§3220. Emergency Action Plan.
(a) Scope and Application. This section applies to all emergency action plans. The emergency action plan shall be in writing, except as provided in the last sentence of subsection (e)(3) of this section, and shall cover those designated actions employers and employees must take to ensure employee safety from fire and other emergencies.
(b) Elements. The following elements, at a minimum, shall be included in the plan:
(1) Emergency escape procedures and emergency escape route assignments;
(2) Procedures to be followed by employees who remain to operate critical plant operations before they evacuate;
(3) Procedures to account for all employees after emergency evacuation has been completed;
(4) Rescue and medical duties for those employees who are to perform them;
(5) The preferred means of reporting fires and other emergencies; and
(6) Names or regular job titles of persons or departments who can be contacted for further information or explanation of duties under the plan.
(c) Alarm System.
(1) The employer shall establish an employee alarm system which complies with Article 165.
(2) If the employee alarm system is used for alerting fire brigade members, or for other purposes, a distinctive signal for each purpose shall be used.
(d) Evacuation. The employer shall establish in the emergency action plan the types of evacuation to be used in emergency circumstances.
(1) Before implementing the emergency action plan, the employer shall designate and train a sufficient number of persons to assist in the safe and orderly emergency evacuation of employees.
(2) The employer shall advise each employee of his/her responsibility under the plan at the following times:
(A) Initially when the plan is developed,
(B) Whenever the employee's responsibilities or designated actions under the plan change, and
(C) Whenever the plan is changed.
(3) The employer shall review with each employee upon initial assignment those parts of the plan which the employee must know to protect the employee in the event of an emergency. The written plan shall be kept at the workplace and made available for employee review. For those employers with 10 or fewer employees the plan may be communicated orally to employees and the employer need not maintain a written plan.
§3221. Fire Prevention Plan.
(a) Scope and Application. This section applies to all fire prevention plans. The fire prevention plan shall be in writing, except as provided in the last sentence of subsection (d)(2) of this section.
(b) Elements. The following elements, at a minimum, shall be included in the fire prevention plan:
(1) Potential fire hazards and their proper handling and storage procedures, potential ignition sources (such as welding, smoking and others) and their control procedures, and the type of fire protection equipment or systems which can control a fire involving them;
(2) Names or regular job titles of those responsible for maintenance of equipment and systems installed to prevent or control ignitions or fires; and
(3) Names or regular job titles of those responsible for the control of accumulation of flammable or combustible waste materials.
(c) Housekeeping. The employer shall control accumulations of flammable and combustible waste materials and residues so that they do not contribute to a fire emergency. The housekeeping procedures shall be included in the written fire prevention plan.
(1) The employer shall apprise employees of the fire hazards of the materials and processes to which they are exposed.
(2) The employer shall review with each employee upon initial assignment those parts of the fire prevention plan which the employee must know to protect the employee in the event of an emergency. The written plan shall be kept in the workplace and made available for employee review. For those employers with 10 or fewer employees, the plan may be communicated orally to employees and the employer need not maintain a written plan.
(e) Maintenance. The employer shall regularly and properly maintain, according to established procedures, equipment and systems installed in the workplace to prevent accidental ignition of combustible materials.