New fact sheet discusses emergency preparedness for farmworkers

Document provides guidance on building an Emergency Action Plan

Posted July 6, 2016

OSHA released a new fact sheet on emergency preparedness for farmworkers. Like any other workplace, farms face natural and man-made emergencies. These emergencies include tornadoes, wildfires, chemical spills, and explosions.

The fact sheet provides companies with instructions on building an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) to be ready if an incident occurs. An EAP explains the responsibilities of the company and workers during an emergency.

According to the fact sheet, the EAP should include:

  • Emergency escape procedures and routes.
  • Procedures to account for workers.
  • Procedures for workers who remain on site after the alarm sounds.
  • Duties for workers designated to perform rescue and medical functions.
  • The preferred means for reporting emergencies.
  • Contact(s) for further information or explanation of duties under the plan.
  • Possible emergency events, incidents, and life-threating situations.
  • Emergency escape routes, shelter-in-place locations, and rally points.
  • Floor plans and workplace maps.
  • A chain of command to prevent confusion and to coordinate the work.
  • Emergency communication equipment, such as two-way radios or a public address system for workers and first responder notification.
  • Special equipment needed for emergencies and disaster response.
  • Workers’ next-of-kin emergency phone numbers and contacts.
  • Farm inventory that includes location of livestock, electrical shut-off locations, buildings and structures, and farm machinery/equipment makes and model numbers.
  • Needed supplies, such as sandbags, fire extinguishers, gaspowered generators, and hand tools.
  • If needed, location of primary and secondary areas to relocate farm assets and workers.
  • Location of buildings in the vicinity that can be used as a command post or logistical assistance area.

Furthermore, the fact sheet says workers should be trained on:

  • Evacuation plans
  • Alarm systems
  • Reporting procedures for personnel
  • Shutdown procedures
  • Types of potential emergencies

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