OSHA Puts Theaters on Notice for Emergency Response Plans

A year after an attempted car bombing in Times Square, the federal agency that governs workplace safety is placing theaters across New York on notice that future inspections will include reviews of emergency-action plans—which instruct employees how to respond to crises, including evacuations.
According to The Associated Press, in an April 15 letter sent to 63 theaters, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration said: "Recent events, such as last summer's attempted car bomb in Times Square, have highlighted the need for increased vigilance and ongoing emergency preparedness." (WCxKit)
Several theaters were evacuated in May 2010 after a smoldering car was discovered close to the Minskoff Theatre, where "The Lion King" is performed. The bomb was later traced to a Connecticut man with ties to the Pakistani Taliban. The letter didn't target particular theaters; rather, OSHA attempted to send the letter to every theater in New York, according to an agency official familiar with the matter.
The agency's change in protocol comes because of a December report on emergency preparedness in New York's theater district by the New York state Assembly subcommittee on workplace safety, chaired by Queens Assemblyman Rory Lancman, and the committees on labor, governmental operations and cities.
The report was issued after the workplace safety subcommittee held a roundtable in the wake of the attempted bombing to discuss "concerns among theater district employees that existing emergency preparedness and evacuation plans and procedures present a workplace safety hazard and are in need [of] careful reexamination."
It recommended that OSHA "issue clearer guidance on which theaters are required to establish Emergency Action Plans," and increase inspections to ensure theaters compliance. An OSHA deputy regional administrator, Richard Mendelson, said the agency has "enhanced" its protocol. "When we get to a facility, this is what we're doing in addition to whatever we're already there for," Mendelson remarked.
The agency conducts random inspections of high-hazard venues from time to time and usually conducts an inspection in the event of an accident. (WCxKit)
Written emergency action plans, required in venues with more than 10 employees, must outline possible emergency scenarios, as well as specify which employees should stay behind to assist in an evacuation.

Author Robert Elliott
, executive vice president, Amaxx Risks Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. See www.LowerWC.com for more information. Contact:Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com or 860-553-6604.

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.
©2011 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact Info@WorkersCompKit.com.

Read More

Request a Demo

To request a free demo of one of our products, please fill in this form. Our sales team will get back to you shortly.