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Exits and Exit Routes

Exits and Exit Routes

Hazard Overview

Hazard Overview

What is an exit?

An exit is that portion of an exit route that is generally separated from other areas to provide a protected way of travel to the exit discharge.

What is an exit route?

An exit route is a continuous and unobstructed path of exit travel from any point within a workplace to a place of safety including refuge areas. An exit route consists of three parts: the exit access; the exit; and the exit discharge.

What are the hazards associated with exits and exit routes?

Exits that do not discharge to a safe location can subject workers to a continued risk of injury, illness or death from fires, chemical releases and building collapse. Locked exit doors can result in fatalities when workers are trapped by fires and do not have an accessible way to exit the area. Doors not intended to be exits that are not marked as to their function may prevent workers from exiting in time to a safe location.

Solutions

Solutions

What can I do to protect myself?

Workers should familiarize themselves with the exit routes and exits for their work areas. Report any locked exit doors that cannot be opened from the inside.

What resources are available to assist employers?

The workplace self-inspection checklist includes a discussion of exits and exit routes and can be adapted for use in the workplace. The presentation on exit routes, emergency action and fire prevention plans can be used by employers to assist in their their employees and should be modified to reflect specific conditions and hazards in their workplaces. In addition, this emergency action plan and fire prevention plan can be modified to fit the workplace.

Additional resources can be found on the A-Z topics pages for emergency action plans and fire prevention plans. The Which OSHA Standards Apply webpage can also help identify other standards that may be applicable to your worksite.

Also, the NCDOL Library offers free safety and health videos and related research assistance on consensus standards (i.e., ANSI, NFPA, NEC). 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.

 

Regulations

Regulations

Which standards apply?

OSH has adopted the following standards for exits and exit routes in North Carolina:

 

Learn More

Learn More

Where can I learn more?

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.