Fires, toxic chemical releases, hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, and floods are some of the reasons you need a 29 CFR 1910.38 Emergency Action Plan. In fact on the OSHA Emergency Action Plan web page it states;

‘‘Almost every business is required to have an emergency action plan (EAP).”

If fire extinguishers are required or provided in your workplace, and if anyone will be evacuating during a fire or other emergency, then Osha requires you to have an EAP. The plan must insure that employees know the procedures for reporting, evacuating or reacting to fires or other emergencies, including the methods for the accounting of all employees after evacuation. Employers must designate contact persons and employees must know who may be contacted if more information about the plan or an explanation of what their required duties are under the plan is needed.

The plan must detail procedures for employees who have been trained to remain behind to care for critical plant operations like the monitoring of plant power supplies, reactors or operations that must be shut down in stages or steps where employees must be present to assure that safe shut down procedures are completed. Employers must also ensure that all rescue and medical first aid duties be assigned and explained to employees before any anticipated emergencies.

In Appendix to Subpart E of 1910.38 OSHA recommends floor plans and workplace maps, with color codes, be developed and displayed which show emergency escape routes included in the emergency action plan to aid employees in determining their evacuation routes or shelter in place requirements.

Designation of interior refuge or safe areas for evacuation within the buildings must be determined and identified in the plan as well as any exterior refuge or safe areas like parking lots, open fields or streets used, which should be located away from the site of the emergency and provide sufficient space to accommodate employees.

The emergency action plan must be covered or reviewed when the plan is first developed, when the employee is assigned initially to a job, the employee's responsibilities under the plan change; or the plan is changed.

And finally the plan requires an alarm system that uses distinctive alarm signals for each type of emergency and complies with the alarm system requirements in §1910.165 and follow fire prevention housekeeping requirements for flammable and combustible materials.

It should also be noted if you have less than 10 employees it does not have to be in writing, employees however must still be instructed of their responsibilities and evacuation routes. 

You will find below a list of resources for developing an emergency action plan. If you have any questions or concerns about your emergency action plan requirements call or drop us an email.

Below you will find the link to OSHA 1910.38 Emergency Action Plans:


Below you will find a link to information from OSHA on Emergency Action Plans: 


Below you will find a link to an example of an Emergency Action Plan:


Thank you for your readership and support.

Robert J Keegan 

Publisher and President 

Hazardous Materials Publishing Company

Transportation Skills Program Inc.

I CAN’T DRIVE (over) 55!

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Whenever I hear the song “I Can’t Drive 55”, which made light of the fines and penalties for exceeding the maximum 55 mile an hour national speed limit, implemented by Gerald Ford during the energy crisis of the 1970s, it makes me think of the penalties for exceeding the federal satellite accumulation 55 gallon storage time requirements.

Once a generator of hazardous waste has accumulated 55 gallons of non-acute hazardous waste in their satellite accumulation area (SAA) but, for some reason cannot move that 55 gallons (ie; drum) of hazardous waste out of the satellite accumulation area, and they decide to start accumulating waste in a new drum, one of the containers must be marked with an accumulation date. Do you know which one?

Under the new EPA hazardous waste generator improvements rule, EPA has defined two types of storage areas for hazardous waste, satellite accumulation(SAA) and central accumulation(CAA). Satellite accumulation is where most generators fill their drums and the central accumulation is where they store them, once filled. In fact, the definition of a central accumulation area is an area away from the operators generating the waste, basically, where the 90 or 180 on site accumulation period begins.

Once a container is moved to the central accumulation area, small quantity generators (SQG) must comply with weekly inspections, storage time and marking requirements. Then in addition to the aforementioned SQG requirements, large quantity generators (LQG) also have requirements under AA, BB, CC of Part 265 for clean air

(https://www.hazmat-tsp.com/40-cfr-part-265-subparts-aaee), containers and tanks, storage locations, training and unit closures, once a container is moved to the LQG central accumulation area. Link to Rob’s Blog Better Small Than Large - (https://www.hazmat-tsp.com/robsblog/2018/4/10/better-small-than-large)


With all that being said and even though it was only the satellite accumulation date marking requirements that I was hoping to clarify, I must tell you first, under this new rule, generators of hazardous waste in their satellite accumulation areas, are only given three calendar days to move excess waste out of the satellite area. Which upon failure to, would then elevate the SAA to a CAA, triggering the additional requirements mentioned above for small and large quantity generators.

“Excess hazardous waste” (over the 55 gallons) is the key here!  The 55 gallon drum is not required to be moved from the satellite accumulation area, ever. OK, most generators once the 55 gallon drum is full would move the drum to the central accumulation area and start a new drum of hazardous waste in the satellite accumulation area. 

 But, that’s not the point, the way the regulations are written, a full drum of non-acute hazardous waste or up to 55 gallons, stored in a satellite accumulation area, would never fall under the three day rule under the federal requirements, only excess hazardous waste generated over the 55 gallons, would fall under the three day rule. The full drum is not the issue, it’s the excess waste that EPA is worried about.


OK, now back to my question, if an operator filled a 55 gallon drum of hazardous waste in a satellite accumulation area, then decided to put a second container into the satellite accumulation area, as the operator of the process would like to continue the production run without a shut down, would the generator be required to mark the full drum with the date, or would the generator be required to mark the new container of excess waste with a start date, to comply with the three day rule?

 Well it seems in 40 CFR, the Environmental Protection Agency Part 262, Standards applicable to generators of hazardous waste in sub-paragraph 262.15 (a) (6), states the generator must mark the second container holding the excess waste.

During the three-consecutive-calendar-day period the generator must continue to comply with paragraphs (a)(1) through (5) of this section. The generator must mark or label the container(s) holding the excess accumulation of hazardous waste with the date the excess amount began accumulating.”

It kind of makes sense to me, regardless of or as to whatever issue this situation has arisen, I could see a generator, with both a full drum of non-acute hazardous waste and a drum that was being filled in SSA, within three calendar days, moving the full drum of hazardous waste to the central accumulation area, marking the 90 or 180 day accumulation date on the full drum, then returning to wipe the date off the excess waste container that remained in the satellite accumulation area, as there is no requirement to mark the single drum in the satellite accumulation area under the federal requirements. Or, if the state had “a one year on-site accumulation storage rule”, like California and Pennsylvania, the generator could just leave the excess accumulation date on the drum to document its new start date.


It also seems in the past, many small and large quantity generators would bypass the central accumulation area and send hazardous waste off their site, from the satellite accumulation area for disposal, bypassing the requirements for inclusion of the SAA’s in their Preparedness and Prevention and Contingency Plans. This loophole is now closed, because the new rule requires both satellite and central accumulation areas to be included in the generators Preparedness, Prevention and Contingency Plans under 40 CFR 262.16 (7) and (8).


 It should also be mentioned, in addition to any accumulation start dates, and regardless of whether a container is in the central or satellite accumulation area, it must be marked with the words “Hazardous Waste “ and an “indication of the hazard”  for the waste inside the drum, such as a DOT hazard class label, OSHA, GHS pictogram or the name of it’s EPA Hazardous Waste Characteristic. 

I think generators should always try to take advantage of the satellite accumulation exceptions, because it’s better to start your 90 or 180 day suspension …ur……… I mean accumulation start date, with the full drum as opposed to starting it with an empty one. If you have any questions on satellite or central accumulation areas, come to my seminar, send an email or give me a call.

Thank you for your leadership and support.

Robert J Keegan

Publisher and President

Hazardous Materials Publishing Company

Transportation Skills Program Inc



The UN International Harmonization of the 49 CFR hazardous material and waste shipping regulations are driving me crazy. I am talking about the diamond shaped Department of Transportation, hazard class labels, required on containers of hazardous material and hazardous waste. See last October, I wrote a blog telling everyone, not to throw out the older DOT hazard class labels just yet, if their inner border lines were only 1mm wide, even though the DOT and the UN or United Nations Committee of Dangerous Goods Experts were now requiring the border line be increased to 2mm.

See. I knew about the label’s inner borders, were beefed up to 2 mm wide, as I had mentioned in my October blog “It’s a Thin Line” (Link to blog - https://www.hazmat-tsp.com/robsblog/2018/10/31/it-is-a-thin-line ). But, I should have more, carefully read the label revisions in the Final rule in the November 7, 2018 Federal Register, (Link- to https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2018-11-07/pdf/2018-23965.pd   page 55806).  

The November Federal Register stated that the labels with the 1 mm lines were still authorized, but only domestically until the end of their service life, which would authorize both a 1mm or 2mm inner border line, on the label “But only if the packages were labeled before January 1, 2017”.  So, If they aren't stuck, your out of luck.

For domestic transportation, a packaging labeled prior to January 1, 2017, and in conformance with the requirements of this paragraph in effect on December 31, 2014, may continue in service until the end of its useful life.”

Also, be aware, when reducing labels on smaller containers. Instead of having to maintain the 5 mm label edge to inner border, the whole label can be reduced proportionately in size. 

“If the size of the package so requires, the dimensions of the label and its features may be reduced proportionally provided the symbol and other elements of the label remain clearly visible”.

I should have known about the label changes and updated you, It is important to frequently and thoroughly read any and all proposed and final rule changes, that affect your company’s compliance , in the current e-regs, (https://gov.ecfr.io/cgi-bin/ECFR ). Or, at the very least, go to our website where Lisa, goes through the Hazardous Material, (DOT), Hazardous Waste, (EPA) and  Hazardous Substance and Chemical, (OSHA) regulations every day, then posts all of the proposed and final rules for both you and me, (https://www.hazmat-tsp.com/new-blog). They change all the time.

Thank you for your support and readership

Robert J. Keegan
Publisher and President 
Hazardous Materials Publishing Company