Emergency Action Plans

An emergency action plan (EAP) is a written document required by a particular OSHA standard. The purpose of an EAP is to facilitate and organize employer and employee actions during workplace emergencies.

Emergency Action Plans

Tab/Accordion Items

What are the hazards associated with emergency action plans?

Failure to have an effective emergency action plan may delay the evacuation of employees to a safe area in the event of fire. When circumstances would otherwise require employees to shelter in place, the lack of an emergency action plan could subject employees to severe heath effects due to a biological or chemical release or serious injury caused by severe weather (e.g., tornado).

What can I do to protect myself?

Employees should familiarize themselves with the procedures to be followed in the event of an emergency. A distinction should be made regarding when to evacuate the area or building and the circumstances that require employees to shelter in place.

What resources are available to assist employers?

Safety and Health Programs

This example emergency action plan can be downloaded and customized to fit an individual workplace.

Training and Outreach Services

The presentation on exit routes, emergency action and fire prevention plans can be used by employers to assist in their employees' training and should be modified to reflect specific conditions and hazards in their workplaces.

In addition, the education, training and technical assistance bureau provides free online safety and health training and outreach services (i.e., speaker's bureau requests, safety booths) upon request. 

Further, the NCDOL Library offers free safety and health videos (including a streaming video service) and related research assistance on consensus standards (i.e., ANSI, NFPA, NEC).

A-Z Safety and Health Topics

Related resources can be found on the A-Z topics pages for exits and exit routes and fire prevention plans

Consultation Services

The consultative services bureau provides free and confidential onsite consultation regarding worksite safety and health hazards.

Which standards apply?

OSH has adopted the following standards which are applicable to emergency action plans in North Carolina. Note: Please also check the standards information and activity webpage to see if there has been any recent or upcoming regulatory activity on this topic. 

General Industry


Maritime, Marine Terminals

OSH standards requiring emergency action plans are the following:

General Industry


Other Applicable Standards

The Which OSHA Standards Apply webpage can also help identify other standards that may be applicable to your worksite.

Where can I learn more?

Industry Guides

Compliance Documents

Technical Assistance

If you would like to receive interpretive guidance on this or any other OSH standard or topic, you can submit your questions using the Ask OSH web form, by e-mail to ask.osh@labor.nc.gov or by calling 919-707-7876.