[Title 29 CFR E]
[Code of Federal Regulations (annual edition) - July 1, 2002 Edition]
[Title 29 - LABOR]
[Subtitle B - Regulations Relating to Labor (Continued)]
[Subpart E - Means of Egress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]

                       Subpart E--Means of Egress

    Authority: Sections 4, 6, and 8 of the Occupational Safety and 
Health Act of 1970 (29 U.S.C. 653, 655, 657); Secretary of Labor's Order 
No. 12-71 (36 FR 8754), 8-76 (41 FR 25059), 9-83 (48 FR 35736), or 1-90 
(55 FR 9033), as applicable.

Sec. 1910.35  Definitions.

    As used in this subpart.
    (a) Means of egress. A means of egress is a continuous and 
unobstructed way of exit travel from any point in a building or 
structure to a public way and consists of three separate and distinct 
parts: the way of exit access, the exit, and the way of exit discharge. 
A means of egress comprises the vertical and horizontal ways of travel 
and shall include intervening room spaces, doorways, hallways, 
corridors, passageways, balconies, ramps, stairs, enclosures, lobbies, 
escalators, horizontal exits, courts, and yards.
    (b) Exit access. Exit access is that portion of a means of egress 
which leads to an entrance to an exit.
    (c) Exit. Exit is that portion of a means of egress which is 
separated from all other spaces of the building or structure by 
construction or equipment as required in this subpart to provide a 
protected way of travel to the exit discharge.

[[Page 149]]

    (d) Exit discharge. Exit discharge is that portion of a means of 
egress between the termination of an exit and a public way.
    (e) Low hazard contents. Low hazard contents shall be classified as 
those of such low combustibility that no self- propagating fire therein 
can occur and that consequently the only probable danger requiring the 
use of emergency exits will be from panic, fumes, or smoke, or fire from 
some external source.
    (f) High-hazard contents. High-hazard contents shall be classified 
as those which are liable to burn with extreme rapidity or from which 
poisonous fumes or explosions are to be feared in the event of fire.
    (g) Ordinary hazard contents. Ordinary hazard contents shall be 
classified as those which are liable to burn with moderate rapidity and 
to give off a considerable volume of smoke but from which neither 
poisonous fumes nor explosions are to be feared in case of fire.
    (h) Approved. For the purpose of this subpart approved shall mean 
listed or approved equipment by a nationally recognized testing 
laboratory. Refer to Sec. 1910.155(c)(3)(iv)(A) for definition of 
listed, and Sec. 1910.7 for nationally recognized testing laboratory.
    (i) Emergency action plan means a plan for a workplace, or parts 
thereof, describing what procedures the employer and employees must take 
to ensure employee safety from fire or other emergencies.
    (j) Emergency escape route means the route that employees are 
directed to follow in the event they are required to evacuate the 
workplace or seek a designated refuge area.

[39 FR 23502, June 27, 1974, as amended at 45 FR 60703, Sept. 12, 1980; 
53 FR 12121, Apr. 12, 1988]

Sec. 1910.36  General requirements.

    (a) Application. This subpart contains general fundamental 
requirements essential to providing a safe means of egress from fire and 
like emergencies. Nothing in this subpart shall be construed to prohibit 
a better type of building construction, more exits, or otherwise safer 
conditions than the minimum requirements specified in this subpart. 
Exits from vehicles, vessels, or other mobile structures are not covered 
by this subpart.
    (b) Fundamental requirements. (1) Every building or structure, new 
or old, designed for human occupancy shall be provided with exits 
sufficient to permit the prompt escape of occupants in case of fire or 
other emergency. The design of exits and other safeguards shall be such 
that reliance for safety to life in case of fire or other emergency will 
not depend solely on any single safeguard; additional safeguards shall 
be provided for life safety in case any single safeguard is ineffective 
due to some human or mechanical failure.
    (2) Every building or structure shall be so constructed, arranged, 
equipped, maintained, and operated as to avoid undue danger to the lives 
and safety of its occupants from fire, smoke, fumes, or resulting panic 
during the period of time reasonably necessary for escape from the 
building or structure in case of fire or other emergency.
    (3) Every building or structure shall be provided with exits of 
kinds, numbers, location, and capacity appropriate to the individual 
building or structure, with due regard to the character of the 
occupancy, the number of persons exposed, the fire protection available, 
and the height and type of construction of the building or structure, to 
afford all occupants convenient facilities for escape.
    (4) In every building or structure exits shall be so arranged and 
maintained as to provide free and unobstructed egress from all parts of 
the building or structure at all times when it is occupied. No lock or 
fastening to prevent free escape from the inside of any building shall 
be installed except in mental, penal, or corrective institutions where 
supervisory personnel is continually on duty and effective provisions 
are made to remove occupants in case of fire or other emergency.
    (5) Every exit shall be clearly visible or the route to reach it 
shall be conspicuously indicated in such a manner that every occupant of 
every building or structure who is physically and mentally capable will 
readily know the direction of escape from any point, and each path of 
escape, in its entirety, shall be so arranged or marked that

[[Page 150]]

the way to a place of safety outside is unmistakable. Any doorway or 
passageway not constituting an exit or way to reach an exit, but of such 
a character as to be subject to being mistaken for an exit, shall be so 
arranged or marked as to minimize its possible confusion with an exit 
and the resultant danger of persons endeavoring to escape from fire 
finding themselves trapped in a dead-end space, such as a cellar or 
storeroom, from which there is no other way out.
    (6) In every building or structure equipped for artificial 
illumination, adequate and reliable illumination shall be provided for 
all exit facilities.
    (7) In every building or structure of such size, arrangement, or 
occupancy that a fire may not itself provide adequate warning to 
occupants, fire alarm facilities shall be provided where necessary to 
warn occupants of the existence of fire so that they may escape, or to 
facilitate the orderly conduct of fire exit drills.
    (8) Every building or structure, section, or area thereof of such 
size, occupancy, and arrangement that the reasonable safety of numbers 
of occupants may be endangered by the blocking of any single means of 
egress due to fire or smoke, shall have at least two means of egress 
remote from each other, so arranged as to minimize any possibility that 
both may be blocked by any one fire or other emergency conditions.
    (9) Compliance with this subpart shall not be construed as 
eliminating or reducing the necessity for other provisions for safety of 
persons using a structure under normal occupancy conditions, nor shall 
any provision of the subpart be construed as requiring or permitting any 
condition that may be hazardous under normal occupancy conditions.
    (c) Protection of employees exposed by construction and repair 
operations. (1) No building or structure under construction shall be 
occupied in whole or in part until all exit facilities required for the 
part occupied are completed and ready for use.
    (2) No existing building shall be occupied during repairs or 
alterations unless all existing exits and any existing fire protection 
are continuously maintained, or in lieu thereof other measures are taken 
which provide equivalent safety.
    (3) No flammable or explosive substances or equipment for repairs or 
alterations shall be introduced in a building of normally low or 
ordinary hazard classification while the building is occupied, unless 
the condition of use and safeguards provided are such as not to create 
any additional danger or handicap to egress beyond the normally 
permissible conditions in the building.
    (d) Maintenance. (1) Every required exit, way of approach thereto, 
and way of travel from the exit into the street or open space, shall be 
continuously maintained free of all obstructions or impediments to full 
instant use in the case of fire or other emergency.
    (2) Every automatic sprinkler system, fire detection and alarm 
system, exit lighting, fire door, and other item of equipment, where 
provided, shall be continuously in proper operating condition.

Sec. 1910.37  Means of egress, general.

    (a) Permissible exit components. An exit shall consist only of the 
approved components. Exit components shall be constructed as an integral 
part of the building or shall be permanently affixed thereto.
    (b) Protective enclosure of exits. When an exit is protected by 
separation from other parts of the building the separating construction 
shall meet the following requirements.
    (1) The separation shall have at least a 1-hour fire resistance 
rating when the exit connects three stories or less. This applies 
whether the stories connected are above or below the story at which exit 
discharge begins.
    (2) The separation shall have at least a 2-hour fire resistance 
rating when the exit connects four or more stories, whether above or 
below the floor of discharge. It shall be constructed of noncombustible 
materials, and shall be supported by construction having at least a 2-
hour fire resistance rating.
    (3) Any opening therein shall be protected by an approved self-
closing fire door.

[[Page 151]]

    (4) Openings in exit enclosures shall be confined to those necessary 
for access to the enclosure from normally occupied spaces and for egress 
from the enclosure.
    (c) Width and capacity of means of egress. (1) The capacity in 
number of persons per unit of exit width for approved components of 
means of egress shall be as follows:
    (i) Level Egress Components (including Class A Ramps) 100 persons.
    (ii) Inclined Egress Components (including Class B Ramps) 60 
    (iii) A ramp shall be designated as Class A or Class B in accordance 
with the following Table E-1:

                                Table E-1
                                        Class A             Class B
Width...........................  44 inches and       30 to 44 inches.
Slope...........................  1 to 1\3/16\        1\3/16\ to 2
                                   inches in 12        inches in 12
                                   inches.             inches.
Maximum height between landings.  No limit..........  12 feet.

    (2) Means of egress shall be measured in units of exit width of 22 
inches. Fractions of a unit shall not be counted, except that 12 inches 
added to one or more full units shall be counted as one-half a unit of 
exit width.
    (3) Units of exit width shall be measured in the clear at the 
narrowest point of the means of egress except that a handrail may 
project inside the measured width on each side not more than 5 inches 
and a stringer may project inside the measured width not more than 1\1/
2\ inches. An exit or exit access door swinging into an aisle or 
passageway shall not restrict the effective width thereof at any point 
during its swing to less than the minimum widths hereafter specified.
    (d) Egress capacity and occupant load. (1) The capacity of means of 
egress for any floor, balcony, tier, or other occupied space shall be 
sufficient for the occupant load thereof. The occupant load shall be the 
maximum number of persons that may be in the space at any time.
    (2) Where exits serve more than one floor, only the occupant load of 
each floor considered individually need be used in computing the 
capacity of the exits at that floor, provided that exit capacity shall 
not be decreased in the direction of exit travel.
    (e) Arrangement of exits. When more than one exit is required from a 
story, at least two of the exits shall be remote from each other and so 
arranged as to minimize any possibility that both may be blocked by any 
one fire or other emergency condition.
    (f) Access to exits. (1) Exits shall be so located and exit access 
shall be so arranged that exits are readily accessible at all times. 
Where exits are not immediately accessible from an open floor area, safe 
and continuous passageways, aisles, or corridors leading directly to 
every exit and so arranged as to provide convenient access for each 
occupant to at least two exits by separate ways of travel, except as a 
single exit or limited dead ends are permitted by other provisions of 
this subpart, shall be maintained.
    (2) A door from a room to an exit or to a way of exit access shall 
be of the side-hinged, swinging type. It shall swing with exit travel 
when the room is occupied by more than 50 persons or used for a high 
hazard occupancy.
    (3) In no case shall access to an exit be through a bathroom, or 
other room subject to locking, except where the exit is required to 
serve only the room subject to locking.
    (4) Ways of exit access and the doors to exits to which they lead 
shall be so designed and arranged as to be clearly recognizable as such. 
Hangings or draperies shall not be placed over exit doors or otherwise 
so located as to conceal or obscure any exit. Mirrors shall not be 
placed on exit doors. Mirrors shall not be placed in or adjacent to any 
exit in such a manner as to confuse the direction of exit.
    (5) Exit access shall be so arranged that it will not be necessary 
to travel toward any area of high hazard occupancy in order to reach the 
nearest exit, unless the path of travel is effectively shielded from the 
high hazard location by suitable partitions or other physical barriers.
    (6) The minimum width of any way of exit access shall in no case be 
less than 28 inches. Where a single way of exit access leads to an exit, 
its capacity in terms of width shall be at least equal to the required 
capacity of the exit to

[[Page 152]]

which it leads. Where more than one way of exit access leads to an exit, 
each shall have a width adequate for the number of persons it must 
    (g) Exterior ways of exit access. (1) Access to an exit may be by 
means of any exterior balcony, porch, gallery, or roof that conforms to 
the requirements of this section.
    (2) Exterior ways of exit access shall have smooth, solid floors, 
substantially level, and shall have guards on the unenclosed sides.
    (3) Where accumulation of snow or ice is likely because of the 
climate, the exterior way of exit access shall be protected by a roof, 
unless it serves as the sole normal means of access to the rooms or 
spaces served, in which case it may be assumed that snow and ice will be 
regularly removed in the course of normal occupancy.
    (4) A permanent, reasonably straight path of travel shall be 
maintained over the required exterior way of exit access. There shall be 
no obstruction by railings, barriers, or gates that divide the open 
space into sections appurtenant to individual rooms, apartments, or 
other uses. Where the Assistant Secretary of Labor or his duly 
authorized representative finds the required path of travel to be 
obstructed by furniture or other movable objects, he may require that 
they be fastened out of the way or he may require that railings or other 
permanent barriers be installed to protect the path of travel against 
    (5) An exterior way of exit access shall be so arranged that there 
are no dead ends in excess of 20 feet. Any unenclosed exit served by an 
exterior way of exit access shall be so located that no part of the exit 
extends past a vertical plane 20 feet and one-half the required width of 
the exit from the end of and at right angles to the way of exit access.
    (6) Any gallery, balcony, bridge, porch, or other exterior exit 
access that projects beyond the outside wall of the building shall 
comply with the requirements of this section as to width and 
    (h) Discharge from exits. (1) All exits shall discharge directly to 
the street, or to a yard, court, or other open space that gives safe 
access to a public way. The streets to which the exits discharge shall 
be of width adequate to accommodate all persons leaving the building. 
Yards, courts, or other open spaces to which exits discharge shall also 
be of adequate width and size to provide all persons leaving the 
building with ready access to the street.
    (2) Stairs and other exits shall be so arranged as to make clear the 
direction of egress to the street. Exit stairs that continue beyond the 
floor of discharge shall be interrupted at the floor of discharge by 
partitions, doors, or other effective means.
    (i) Headroom. Means of egress shall be so designed and maintained as 
to provide adequate headroom, but in no case shall the ceiling height be 
less than 7 feet 6 inches nor any projection from the ceiling be less 
than 6 feet 8 inches from the floor.
    (j) Changes in elevation. Where a means of egress is not 
substantially level, such differences in elevation shall be negotiated 
by stairs or ramps.
    (k) Maintenance and workmanship. (1) Doors, stairs, ramps, passages, 
signs, and all other components of means of egress shall be of 
substantial, reliable construction and shall be built or installed in a 
workmanlike manner.
    (2) Means of egress shall be continuously maintained free of all 
obstructions or impediments to full instant use in the case of fire or 
other emergency.
    (3) Any device or alarm installed to restrict the improper use of an 
exit shall be so designed and installed that it cannot, even in cases of 
failure, impede or prevent emergency use of such exit.
    (l) Furnishings and decorations. (1) No furnishings, decorations, or 
other objects shall be so placed as to obstruct exits, access thereto, 
egress therefrom, or visibility thereof.
    (2) No furnishings or decorations of an explosive or highly 
flammable character shall be used in any occupancy.
    (m) Automatic sprinkler systems. All automatic sprinkler systems 
shall be continuously maintained in reliable operating condition at all 
times, and such periodic inspections and tests shall be made as are 
necessary to assure proper maintenance.

[[Page 153]]

    (n) Fire alarm signaling systems. The employer shall assure that 
fire alarm signaling systems are maintained and tested in accordance 
with the requirements of Sec. 1910.165(d).
    (o) Fire retardant paints. Fire retardant paints or solutions shall 
be renewed at such intervals as necessary to maintain the necessary 
flame retardant properties.
    (p) [Reserved]
    (q) Exit marking. (1) Exits shall be marked by a readily visible 
sign. Access to exits shall be marked by readily visible signs in all 
cases where the exit or way to reach it is not immediately visible to 
the occupants.
    (2) Any door, passage, or stairway which is neither an exit nor a 
way of exit access, and which is so located or arranged as to be likely 
to be mistaken for an exit, shall be identified by a sign reading ``Not 
an Exit'' or similar designation, or shall be identified by a sign 
indicating its actual character, such as ``To Basement,'' ``Storeroom,'' 
``Linen Closet,'' or the like.
    (3) Every required sign designating an exit or way of exit access 
shall be so located and of such size, color, and design as to be readily 
visible. No decorations, furnishings, or equipment which impair 
visibility of an exit sign shall be permitted, nor shall there be any 
brightly illuminated sign (for other than exit purposes), display, or 
object in or near the line of vision to the required exit sign of such a 
character as to so detract attention from the exit sign that it may not 
be noticed.
    (4) Every exit sign shall be distinctive in color and shall provide 
contrast with decorations, interior finish, or other signs.
    (5) A sign reading ``Exit'', or similar designation, with an arrow 
indicating the directions, shall be placed in every location where the 
direction of travel to reach the nearest exit is not immediately 
    (6) Every exit sign shall be suitably illuminated by a reliable 
light source giving a value of not less than 5 foot-candles on the 
illuminated surface. Artificial lights giving illumination to exit signs 
other than the internally illuminated types shall have screens, discs, 
or lenses of not less than 25 square inches area made of translucent 
material to show red or other specified designating color on the side of 
the approach.
    (7) Each internally illuminated exit sign shall be provided in all 
occupancies where reduction of normal illumination is permitted.
    (8) Every exit sign shall have the word ``Exit'' in plainly legible 
letters not less than 6 inches high, with the principal strokes of 
letters not less than three-fourths-inch wide.

[39 FR 23502, June 27, 1974, as amended at 45 FR 60703, Sept. 12, 1980]

Sec. 1910.38  Employee emergency plans and fire prevention plans.

    (a) Emergency action plan--(1) Scope and application. This paragraph 
(a) applies to all emergency action plans required by a particular OSHA 
standard. The emergency action plan shall be in writing (except as 
provided in the last sentence of paragraph (a)(5)(iii) of this section) 
and shall cover those designated actions employers and employees must 
take to ensure employee safety from fire and other emergencies.
    (2) Elements. The following elements, at a minimum, shall be 
included in the plan:
    (i) Emergency escape procedures and emergency escape route 
    (ii) Procedures to be followed by employees who remain to operate 
critical plant operations before they evacuate;
    (iii) Procedures to account for all employees after emergency 
evacuation has been completed;
    (iv) Rescue and medical duties for those employees who are to 
perform them;
    (v) The preferred means of reporting fires and other emergencies; 
    (vi) Names or regular job titles of persons or departments who can 
be contacted for further information or explanation of duties under the 
    (3) Alarm system. (i) The employer shall establish an employee alarm 
system which complies with Sec. 1910.165.
    (ii) If the employee alarm system is used for alerting fire brigade 
members, or for other purposes, a distinctive signal for each purpose 
shall be used.
    (4) Evacuation. The employer shall establish in the emergency action 
plan the types of evacuation to be used in emergency circumstances.

[[Page 154]]

    (5) Training. (i) Before implementing the emergency action plan, the 
employer shall designate and train a sufficient number of persons to 
assist in the safe and orderly emergency evacuation of employees.
    (ii) The employer shall review the plan with each employee covered 
by the plan at the following times:
    (A) Initially when the plan is developed,
    (B) Whenever the employee's responsibilities or designated actions 
under the plan change, and
    (C) Whenever the plan is changed.
    (iii) The employer shall review with each employee upon initial 
assignment those parts of the plan which the employee must know to 
protect the employee in the event of an emergency. The written plan 
shall be kept at the workplace and made available for employee review. 
For those employers with 10 or fewer employees the plan may be 
communicated orally to employees and the employer need not maintain a 
written plan.
    (b) Fire prevention plan--(1) Scope and application. This paragraph 
(b) applies to all fire prevention plans required by a particular OSHA 
standard. The fire prevention plan shall be in writing, except as 
provided in the last sentence of paragraph (b)(4)(ii) of this section.
    (2) Elements. The following elements, at a minimum, shall be 
included in the fire prevention plan:
    (i) A list of the major workplace fire hazards and their proper 
handling and storage procedures, potential ignition sources (such as 
welding, smoking and others) and their control procedures, and the type 
of fire protection equipment or systems which can control a fire 
involving them;
    (ii) Names or regular job titles of those personnel responsible for 
maintenance of equipment and systems installed to prevent or control 
ignitions or fires; and
    (iii) Names or regular job titles of those personnel responsible for 
control of fuel source hazards.
    (3) Housekeeping. The employer shall control accumulations of 
flammable and combustible waste materials and residues so that they do 
not contribute to a fire emergency. The housekeeping procedures shall be 
included in the written fire prevention plan.
    (4) Training. (i) The employer shall apprise employees of the fire 
hazards of the materials and processes to which they are exposed.
    (ii) The employer shall review with each employee upon initial 
assignment those parts of the fire prevention plan which the employee 
must know to protect the employee in the event of an emergency. The 
written plan shall be kept in the workplace and made available for 
employee review. For those employers with 10 or fewer employees, the 
plan may be communicated orally to employees and the employer need not 
maintain a written plan.
    (5) Maintenance. The employer shall regularly and properly maintain, 
according to established procedures, equipment and systems installed on 
heat producing equipment to prevent accidental ignition of combustible 
materials. The maintenance procedures shall be included in the written 
fire prevention plan.

[45 FR 60703, Sept. 12, 1980]

           Appendix to Subpart E of Part 1910--Means of Egress

    This appendix serves as a nonmandatory guideline to assist employers 
in complying with the appropriate requirements of subpart E.

                 Sec. 1910.38  Employee emergency plans.

    1. Emergency action plan elements. The emergency action plan should 
address emergencies that the employer may reasonably expect in the 
workplace. Examples are: fire; toxic chemical releases; hurricanes; 
tornadoes; blizzards; floods; and others. The elements of the emergency 
action plan presented in paragraph 1910.38(a)(2) can be supplemented by 
the following to more effectively achieve employee safety and health in 
an emergency. The employer should list in detail the procedures to be 
taken by those employees who have been selected to remain behind to care 
for essential plant operations until their evacuation becomes absolutely 
necessary. Essential plant operations may include the monitoring of 
plant power supplies, water supplies, and other essential services which 
cannot be shut down for every emergency alarm. Essential plant 
operations may also include chemical or manufacturing processes which 
must be shut down in stages or steps where certain employees must be 
present to assure that safe shut down procedures are completed.

[[Page 155]]

    The use of floor plans or workplace maps which clearly show the 
emergency escape routes should be included in the emergency action plan. 
Color coding will aid employees in determining their route assignments.
    The employer should also develop and explain in detail what rescue 
and medical first aid duties are to be performed and by whom. All 
employees are to be told what actions they are to take in these 
emergency situations that the employer anticipates may occur in the 
    2. Emergency evacuation. At the time of an emergency, employees 
should know what type of evacuation is necessary and what their role is 
in carrying out the plan. In some cases where the emergency is very 
grave, total and immediate evacuation of all employees is necessary. In 
other emergencies, a partial evacuation of nonessential employees with a 
delayed evacuation of others may be necessary for continued plant 
operation. In some cases, only those employees in the immediate area of 
the fire may be expected to evacuate or move to a safe area such as when 
a local application fire suppression system discharge employee alarm is 
sounded. Employees must be sure that they know what is expected of them 
in all such emergency possibilities which have been planned in order to 
provide assurance of their safety from fire or other emergency.
    The designation of refuge or safe areas for evacuation should be 
determined and identified in the plan. In a building divided into fire 
zones by fire walls, the refuge area may still be within the same 
building but in a different zone from where the emergency occurs.
    Exterior refuge or safe areas may include parking lots, open fields 
or streets which are located away from the site of the emergency and 
which provide sufficient space to accommodate the employees. Employees 
should be instructed to move away from the exit discharge doors of the 
building, and to avoid congregating close to the building where they may 
hamper emergency operations.
    3. Emergency action plan training. The employer should assure that 
an adequate number of employees are available at all times during 
working hours to act as evacuation wardens so that employees can be 
swiftly moved from the danger location to the safe areas. Generally, one 
warden for each twenty employees in the workplace should be able to 
provide adequate guidance and instruction at the time of a fire 
emergency. The employees selected or who volunteer to serve as wardens 
should be trained in the complete workplace layout and the various 
alternative escape routes from the workplace. All wardens and fellow 
employees should be made aware of handicapped employees who may need 
extra assistance, such as using the buddy system, and of hazardous areas 
to be avoided during emergencies. Before leaving, wardens should check 
rooms and other enclosed spaces in the workplace for employees who may 
be trapped or otherwise unable to evacuate the area.
    After the desired degree of evacuation is completed, the wardens 
should be able to account for or otherwise verify that all employees are 
in the safe areas.
    In buildings with several places of employment, employers are 
encouraged to coordinate their plans with the other employers in the 
building. A building-wide or standardized plan for the whole building is 
acceptable provided that the employers inform their respective employees 
of their duties and responsibilities under the plan. The standardized 
plan need not be kept by each employer in the multi-employer building, 
provided there is an accessible location within the building where the 
plan can be reviewed by affected employees. When multi-employer 
building-wide plans are not feasible, employers should coordinate their 
plans with the other employers within the building to assure that 
conflicts and confusion are avoided during times of emergencies. In 
multi-story buildings where more than one employer is on a single floor, 
it is essential that these employers coordinate their plans with each 
other to avoid conflicts and confusion.
    4. Fire prevention housekeeping. The standard calls for the control 
of accumulations of flammable and combustible waste materials.
    It is the intent of this standard to assure that hazardous 
accumulations of combustible waste materials are controlled so that a 
fast developing fire, rapid spread of toxic smoke, or an explosion will 
not occur. This does not necessarily mean that each room has to be swept 
each day. Employers and employees should be aware of the hazardous 
properties of materials in their workplaces, and the degree of hazard 
each poses. Certainly oil soaked rags have to be treated differently 
than general paper trash in office areas. However, large accumulations 
of waste paper or corrugated boxes, etc., can pose a significant fire 
hazard. Accumulations of materials which can cause large fires or 
generate dense smoke that are easily ignited or may start from 
spontaneous combustion, are the types of materials with which this 
standard is concerned. Such combustible materials may be easily ignited 
by matches, welder's sparks, cigarettes and similar low level energy 
ignition sources.
    5. Maintenance of equipment under the fire prevention plan. Certain 
equipment is often installed in workplaces to control heat sources or to 
detect fuel leaks. An example is a temperature limit switch often found 
on deep-fat food fryers found in restaurants. There may be similar 
switches for high temperature dip tanks, or flame failure and flashback 
arrester devices on furnaces and similar heat producing equipment. If 
these devices are not properly maintained or if

[[Page 156]]

they become inoperative, a definite fire hazard exists. Again employees 
and supervisors should be aware of the specific type of control devices 
on equipment involved with combustible materials in the workplace and 
should make sure, through periodic inspection or testing, that these 
controls are operable. Manufacturers' recommendations should be followed 
to assure proper maintenance procedures.

[45 FR 60714, Sept. 12, 1980]