Accidents can happen in any place at any time. Is your workplace prepared for an emergency? Take our 10-question quiz and test your familiarity with OSHA's safety standards.

On March 25, 1911, in New York City, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory was the scene of one of the deadliest industrial disasters in U.S history. One hundred forty-six garment workers lost their lives. Why? The management had locked the fire escapes to prevent workers from stealing material.

To decrease the likelihood of such a tragedy from happening again, agencies created minimum standards for workplace preparedness, evacuation and egress. To protect employees, all employers should be familiar with these standards.

Try your hand at this quiz. Compare your answers to the correct answers. How many did you get right? How familiar are you with the standards? More importantly, how well are you meeting them? Remember: always protect your employees by ensuring your facility is prepared and that your employees are trained.

  • OSHA requires an employer with how many employees to record an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) in writing?
    • a. 10
    • b. 11
    • c. 12
    • d. 15
  • Employers must practice fire drills as part of its EAP, according to OSHA.
    • a. True
    • b. False
  • 3. Employers must have and maintain a(n):
    • a. Employee Alarm System
    • b. Fire Brigade
    • c. Bullhorns, flashlights and hi-visibility vests
    • d. Fire Hose System
  • OSHA calls the required personnel who are trained and designated to assist in a safe and orderly evacuation of other employees:
    • a. Evacuation Marshals
    • b. Evacuation Coordinators
    • c. Evacuation Wardens
    • d. Evacuation Aids
  • As part of a Fire Prevention plan, an employer must list: (choose all that apply)
    • a. All major fire hazards
    • b. Name and job title of employees responsible for maintaining equipment to prevent or control sources of ignition/fires
    • c. Name and job title of employees responsible for the control of fuel source hazards
    • d. Five-year running history of fire drill results and performance
  • How often must an employer review an EAP? (choose all that apply)
    • a. Annually
    • b. When the plan is changed
    • c. When the plan is developed
    • d. When the employee"s responsibilities under the plan change
  • A workplace must provide two exit routes.
    • a. True
    • b. False
  • How wide must an exit access be?
    • a. 28 inches
    • b. 30 inches
    • c. 34 inches
    • d. 36 inches
  • Emergency exits may be locked by employers to protect property provided the employer furnishes employees with keys.
    • a. True
    • b. False
  • Exit routes must be: (choose all that apply)
    • a. Free and unobstructed by materials and equipment
    • b. Adequately lighted
    • c. Equipped with exit signs that are clearly visible
    • d. Arranged so that employees do not have to travel toward a high hazard area
Answers:
  • b. 11 - 29 CFR 1910.38(b) An employer with 11 or more employees must create and have in writing an EAP. This plan describes what your organization will do in the event of an emergency. If there are 10 or fewer employees, the employer may verbally communicate the plan.

  • b. False – Federal OSHA does not specifically require fire drills. 1910.38(c) does list the minimum elements of an EAP. However, OSHA's Small Business Handbook recommends that employers "conduct frequent drills to ensure that all employees know what to do under stressful conditions."

  • a. Employee Alarm System – 1910.38(d) requires employers to have an alarm system with a distinctive signal for each purpose and comply with the requirements in 1910.165.

  • c. Evacuation Wardens – OSHA suggests a ratio of about 1 warden to 20 employees for adequate guidance and instruction at the time of a fire emergency.

  • a, b and c - All major fire hazards, Name and job title of employees responsible for maintaining equipment to prevent or control sources of ignition/fires, Name and job title of employees responsible for the control of fuel source hazards. There is no requirement to keep a 5-year running history of fire drills; however, measuring your fire drill results may help an employer improve evacuation.

  • b, c and d – When the plan is changed, When the plan is developed, and When the employee"s responsibilities under the plan change. It is not required that an employer reviews the EAP annually.

  • a. True – but 1910.36(b) states that there are exceptions to that number. If an employer can show that one exit is adequate, it is permissible (1910.36(b)(3)). Conversely, a workplace may have to provide more than two if number of employees, size of building, its occupancy or the arrangement of the workplace do not allow for safe evacuation (1910.36(b)(2)).

  • a. 28 inches – 1910.36(g)(10) states that access points must be 28 inches at all points.

  • b. False – 1910.36(d)(1) says employees must be able to open emergency exits from inside at all times without keys, tools or special knowledge.

  • a, b, c and d – 1910.37 explains the maintenance and operational features required for exit routes.