Ask the expert: fire safety and training


Today we get responses from EHS Hero® experts on two issues related to fire safety and training, including the use of fire stations, hydrants and extinguishers. Read on to see what the experts had to say.

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Q: What are the OSHA standards for sprinklers and hydrants in facilities? Are employers required to train workers in their use and should they be considered junior firefighters?

Under 29 CFR 1910.158, which covers small hoses, Class II and Class III riser systems, there are no specific requirements for training employees in the use of this equipment. However, if the employees are expected to use fire stations and hydrants to fight fires, they must be properly trained to perform this task.

OSHA defines a fire brigade as “an organized group of employees competent, trained and qualified in at least basic firefighting operations” (29 CFR 1910.155). If an employer has established a fire brigade that meets this definition, which would include an organized fire brigade to deal with emerging fires, all firefighters should be trained before performing any emergency firefighter activity. , and at least once a year thereafter. Fire chiefs and trainers should receive more comprehensive training than that given to general firefighters.

OSHA defines “nascent stage fire” as “a fire that is in the early or early stages and can be controlled or extinguished by portable extinguishers, a Class II riser, or small pipe systems without the need. protective clothing or respiratory equipment ”CFR 1910.155). Therefore, Class II riser and small pipe systems can be considered as equipment used to fight incipient fires.

fire extinguisher training
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Q: Does OSHA require hands-on training for employees who must use a fire extinguisher?

Cal / OSHA follows the OSHA Federal Rules for Fire Extinguishers, which require employers who provide portable fire extinguishers for use by employees in the workplace provide an educational program that will familiarize employees with the general principles of use of fire extinguishers and the dangers associated with incipient firefighting. This training must be provided upon hiring and at least once a year thereafter. Employees who have been designated to use firefighting equipment as part of an emergency response plan should be trained in the use of fire extinguishing equipment when their assignment to this role and at least once a year thereafter.

Employees who are designated to use portable extinguishers should receive practical training in the use of fire extinguishing equipment. However, employers are allowed to determine how practical training is provided. Simulated or real fires are not mandatory parts of this hands-on training, but are voluntary. Employers can provide non-classroom instructional materials using instruction sheets, flyers, or similar types of informal programs. However, the employer must still provide practical training in addition to one of these other training methods.

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