You may have heard that a fully-written fire safety and prevention plan isn't strictly necessary for your small plant, construction, or agricultural operation. It's true that in some limited circumstances, OSHA doesn't mandate a written plan. However, it's still very important that you have one.
What Does OSHA Say About It?
OSHA strongly recommends all employers have an emergency action plan and a fire prevention plan. Of course, this is a recommendation, not a requirement. It only becomes a requirement if your business deals with things that come up against specific OSHA standards. These standards are collectively covered under Section 1910 subpart L.
OSHA also says if your business employs ten people or less, you can get by with an orally communicated plan. You don't have to write it down or fully document it. You should ignore that part and write it all down anyway.
OSHA isn't the only entity your industrial, construction, or agricultural operations need to play nice with. It's possible there are many local guidelines concerning fire protection, safety, and prevention that you must adhere to. In addition, fire protection and safety may not even apply to your business. It may apply to the facility you're operating out of.
For example, the number of floors or the number of people in a building may necessitate a full written plan. This can apply even if you're only using a small section of the overall building.
Requirements for a Written Fire Safety and Prevention Plan
Start with a written fire prevention plan according to OSHA guidelines. It should include many of the following items.
A fire prevention plan – A written list of all possible fire hazards.
Implementation – Posting signs, training, establishing smoking guidelines, etc.
A fire prevention system – Extinguishers, detectors, fire suppression systems, fire protection gear, etc.
Evacuation plans – Maps, signage, and special emergency doors.
If you're a small operation, you won't need to hire experts; all you have to do is make sure you cover all the main points. That will give you a good place for dealing with local codes should they show up as well.
You won't have to use an expensive service or templates. You can even ask a company like Echo Fire Protection for basic guidelines. It's in your best interest to write down and implement a fire prevention plan that at least includes basic safety guidelines and proper fire protection equipment.