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Emergency Planning and Response )  
bulletWhat the regulation says:
bullet

Emergency planning and response. The employer shall establish and implement an emergency action plan for the entire plant in accordance with the provisions of 29 CFR 1910.38(a). In addition, the emergency action plan shall include procedures for handling small releases. Employers covered under this standard may also be subject to the hazardous waste and emergency response provisions contained in 29 CFR 1910.120(a), (p) and (q).

 

bullet What it means:
bulletEach employer must address what actions employees are to take when there is an unwanted release of highly hazardous chemicals. Every employee, including outside contractors, has a specific responsibilities during any evacuation. The level of documented training needed for compliance is directly equal to the level of responsibility. Employers will need to decide if they want employees to handle and stop small or minor incidental releases. Whether they wish to mobilize the available resources at the plant and have them brought to bear on a more significant release. Or whether employers want their employees to evacuate the danger area and promptly escape to a preplanned safe zone area, and allow the local community emergency response organizations to handle the release. Or whether the employer wants to use some combination of these actions. Employers will need to select how many different emergency preparedness lines of defense they plan to have and then develop the necessary plans and procedures, and appropriately train employees in their emergency duties and responsibilities and then implement these lines of defense.
bullet Employers at a minimum must have an emergency action plan which will facilitate the prompt evacuation of employees when an HHC release occurs. This means that the employer will have a plan that will be activated by an alarm system to alert employees when to evacuate and, that employees who are physically impaired, will have the necessary support and assistance to get them to the safe zone as well. The intent of these requirements is to alert and move employees to a safe zone quickly. Delaying alarms or confusing alarms are to be avoided.
bulletHHC incidental releases in the process area must be addressed by the employer as to what actions employees are to take. If the employer wants employees to evacuate the area, then the emergency action plan will be activated. For outdoor processes where wind direction is important for selecting the safe route to a refuge area, the employer should place a wind direction indicator such as a wind sock or pennant at the highest point that can be seen throughout the process area. Employees can move in the direction of cross wind to upwind to gain safe access to the refuge area by knowing the wind direction.
bulletIf the employer wants specific employees in the release area to control or stop the minor emergency or incidental release, these actions must be planned for in advance and procedures developed and implemented. Preplanning for handling incidental releases for minor emergencies in the process area needs to be done, appropriate equipment for the hazards must be provided, and training conducted for those employees who will perform the emergency work before they respond to handle an actual release. The employer's training program, including the Hazard Communication standard training is to address the training needs for employees who are expected to handle incidental or minor releases.
bulletPreplanning for releases that are more serious than incidental releases is another important line of defense to be used by the employer. When a serious HHC release occurs, the employer through preplanning will have determined in advance what actions employees are to take. The evacuation of the immediate release area and other areas as necessary would be accomplished under the emergency action plan. If the employer wishes to use plant personnel such as a fire brigade, spill control team, a hazardous materials team, or use employees to render aid to those in the immediate release area and control or mitigate the incident, these actions are covered by 1910.120, the Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) standard. If outside assistance is necessary, such as through mutual aid agreements between employers or local government emergency response organizations, these emergency responders are also covered by HAZWOPER. The safety and health protections required for emergency responders are the responsibility of their employers and of the on-scene incident commander.
bulletResponders may be working under very hazardous conditions and therefore the objective is to have them competently led by an on-scene incident commander and the commander's staff, properly equipped to do their assigned work safely, and fully trained to carry out their duties safely before they respond to an emergency. Drills, training exercises, or simulations with the local community emergency response planners and responder organizations is one means to obtain better preparedness. This close cooperation and coordination between plant and local community emergency preparedness managers will also aid the employer in complying with the Environmental Protection Agency's Risk Management Plan criteria.
bulletOne effective way for medium to large facilities to enhance coordination and communication during emergencies for on plant operations and with local community organizations is for employers to establish and equip an emergency control center. The emergency control center would be sited in a safe zone area so that it could be occupied throughout the duration of an emergency. The center would serve as the major communication link between the on-scene incident commander and plant or corporate management as well as with the local community officials. The communication equipment in the emergency control center should include a network to receive and transmit information by telephone, radio or other means. It is important to have a backup communication network in case of power failure or one communication means fails. The center should also be equipped with the plant layout and community maps, utility drawings including fire water, emergency lighting, appropriate reference materials such as a government agency notification list, company personnel phone list, material safety data sheets, emergency plans and procedures manual, a listing with the location of emergency response equipment, mutual aid information, and access to meteorological or weather condition data and any dispersion modeling data.

 




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