Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is revising its standards for means of egress. The purpose of this revision is to rewrite the existing requirements in clearer language so they will be easier to understand by employers, employees, and others who use them. The revisions reorganize the text, remove inconsistencies among sections, and eliminate duplicative requirements. The rules are performance-oriented to the extent possible, and more concise than the original, with fewer subparagraphs, and fewer cross-references to other OSHA standards. Additionally, a table of contents has been added that is intended to make the standards easier to use.
Also, OSHA is changing the name of the subpart from “Means of Egress” to “Exit Routes, Emergency Action Plans, and Fire Prevention Plans” to better describe the contents.
Finally, OSHA has evaluated the National Fire Protection Association’s Standard 101, Life Safety Code, 2000 Edition (NFPA 101-2000), and has concluded that the standard provides comparable safety to the Exit Routes Standard. Therefore, employers who wish to comply with the NFPA 101-2000 instead of the OSHA standards for Exit Routes may do so.
The final rule becomes effective December 9, 2002. It can be downloaded from RCP’s website here.