OSHA Requirements for Exits – Standard Egress Requirements

The requirements of OSHA standards 29 CFR 1910, entitled “Means of egress” focus on the design and construction of buildings related to the exits. The standard number 1910.36 exposes the specific aspects that designers should include for exit doors in commercial and industrial buildings. The basic requirements state that all exits must be permanent and must be separated from other sections of the building by fire-resistant materials. These materials must have a degree of fire resistance time for the exits that connect three stories or less, and buildings with more than three floors should have materials that resist fire for two hours. Other topics treated in this section include the number of exits based on the design, size and occupancy load of the work area. The larger work areas must have at least two exits located far enough from each other to provide a safe exit if output becomes inaccessible due to fire, smoke or blockage. The exit doors must remain unlocked and must be made with accurate measurements established by OSHA requirements. Additionally, the doors have hinges and move outward from the exit route.

Signs and exit routes

OSHA Requirements for exits - Standard egress requirementsLearn how to stop the work area outlet for regular or emergency situations is also considered in OSHA regulations. An important part of this case is easy to understand signals and very accessible. Generally the signs out should have letters at least 6 inches (15 cm) high and three quarters of an inch (2 cm) wide, and must be always visible. There should also be signs for exit routes clearly directed towards the points of egress from the building. Exit routes must be kept clear at all times. Repair constructs that affect exit routes must always give way to leave the building safely, including the placement of temporary signs. All doors in an exit route for non agresar must be marked with signs as “not out” or “store cupboard”. There should also be adequate lighting in exit routes for employees with normal vision.

OSHA Updates for exits

OSHA issued an update in November 2002 titled; “Exit Routes, Emergency Action Plans and Fire Prevention Plans” which was intended to simplify the language of their original means of egress requirements. Some changes to the original standards affect existing structures and set exits. According to the Catholic University of America (CUA), the updated regulations may have caused problems for some existing businesses in compliance. Citing a December 2002 article by Lawrence Halprin of Keller and Heckman, LLP, CUA website proposes that local building codes were originally allowed to take precedence over the output requirements if OSHA approved designs. Updates for 2002, however, apparently refused that possibility, which meant that trade could face significant structures to meet the updated requirements costs. One aspect of this problem is the need to include fire doors that close automatically providing access to exit routes. For some businesses, this means rebuilding office areas and invest in more expensive fire resistant, which previously were not required by local building codes doors.

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