Fire Protection

Fire Brigades §1910.156(c)(1)–(4)

(c) Training and education.

(1) The employer shall provide training and education for all fire brigade members commensurate with those duties and functions that fire brigade members are expected to perform. Such training and education shall be provided to fire brigade members before they perform fire brigade emergency activities. Fire brigade leaders and training instructors shall be provided with training and education which is more comprehensive than that provided to the general membership of the fire brigade.

(2) The employer shall assure that training and education is conducted frequently enough to assure that each member of the fire brigade is able to perform the member's assigned duties and functions satisfactorily and in a safe manner so as not to endanger fire brigade members or other employees. All fire brigade members shall be provided with training at least annually. In addition, fire brigade members who are expected to perform interior structural fire fighting shall be provided with an education session or training at least quarterly.

(3) The quality of the training and education program for fire brigade members shall be similar to those conducted by such fire training schools as the Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute; lowa Fire Service Extension; West Virginia Fire Service Extension; Georgia Fire Academy, New York State Department, Fire Prevention and Control; Louisiana State University Firemen Training Program, or Washington State's Fire Service Training Commission for Vocational Education. (For example, for the oil refinery industry, with its unique hazards, the training and education program for those fire brigade members shall be similar to those conducted by Texas A & M University, Lamar University, Reno Fire School, and the Delaware State Fire School.)

(4) The employer shall inform fire brigade members about special hazards such as storage and use of flammable liquids and gases, toxic chemicals, radioactive sources, and water reactive substances, to which they may be exposed during fire and other emergencies. The fire brigade members shall also be advised of any changes that occur in relation to the special hazards. The employer shall develop and make available for inspection by fire brigade members, written procedures that describe the actions to be taken in situations involving the special hazards and shall include these in the training and education program.

Paragraph 5 of Appendix A to Subpart L Fire Protection §1910.156

5. Training and education. The paragraph on training a-- education does not contain specific training and education requirements because the type, amount, and frequency of training and education will be as varied as are the purposes for which fire brigades are organized. However, the paragraph does require that training and education be commensurate with those functions that the fire brigade is expected to perform; i.e., those functions specified in the organizational statement. Such a performance requirement provides the necessary flexibility to design a training program which meets the needs of individual fire brigades.

At a minimum, hands-on training is required to be conducted annually for all fire brigade members. However, for those fire brigade members who are expected to perform interior structural fire fighting, some type of training or education session must be provided at least quarterly.

In addition to the required hands-on training, it is strongly recommended that fire brigade members receive other types of training and education such as: classroom instruction, review of emergency action procedures, pre-fire planning, review of special hazards in the workplace, and practice in the use of self-contained breathing apparatus.

It is not necessary for the employer to duplicate the same training or education that a fire brigade member receives as a member of a community volunteer fire department, rescue squad, or similar organization. However, such training or education must have been provided to the fire brigade member within the past year and it must be documented that the fire brigade member has received the training or education. For example: there is no need for a fire brigade member to receive another training class in the use of positive-pressure self-contained breathing apparatus if the fire brigade member has recently completed such training as a member of a community fire department. Instead, the fire brigade member should receive training or education covering other important equipment or duties of the fire brigade as they relate to the workplace hazards, facilities and processes.

It is generally recognized that the effectiveness of fire brigade training and education depends upon the expertise of those providing the training and education as well as the motivation of the fire brigade members. Fire brigade training instructors must receive a higher level of training and education than the fire brigade members they will be teaching. This includes being more knowledgeable about the functions to be performed by the fire brigade and the hazards involved. The instructors should be qualified to train fire brigade members and demonstrate skills in communication, methods of teaching, and motivation. It is important for instructors and fire brigade members alike to be motivated toward the goal of the fire brigade and be aware of the importance of the service that they are providing for the protection of other employees and the workplace.

It is suggested that publications from the International Fire Service Training Association, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA-1041), the International Society of Fire Service Instructors and other fire training sources be consulted for recommended qualifications of fire brigade training instructors.

In order to be effective, fire brigades must have competent leadership and supervision. It is important for those who supervise the fire brigade during emergency situations, e.g., fire brigade chiefs, leaders, etc., to receive the necessary training and education for supervising fire brigade activities during these hazardous and stressful situations. These fire brigade members with leadership responsibilities should demonstrate skills in strategy and tactics, fire suppression and prevention techniques, leadership principles, pre-fire planning, and safety practices. It is again suggested that fire service training sources be consulted for determining the kinds of training and education which are necessary for those with fire brigade leadership responsibilities.

It is further suggested that fire brigade leaders and fire brigade instructors receive more formalized training and education on a continuing basis by attending classes provided by such training sources as universities and university fire extension services.

The following recommendations should not be considered to be all of the necessary elements of a complete comprehensive training program, but the information may be helpful as a guide in developing a fire brigade training program.

All fire brigade members should be familiar with exit facilities and their location, emergency escape routes for handicapped workers, and the workplace "emergency action plan."

In addition, fire brigade members who are expected to control and extinguish fires in the incipient stage should, at a minimum, be trained in the use of fire extinguishers, standpipes, and other fire equipment they are assigned to use. They should also be aware of first aid medical procedures and procedures for dealing with special hazards to which they may be exposed. Training and education should include both classroom instruction and actual operation of the equipment under simulated emergency conditions. Hands-on type training must be conducted at least annually but some functions should be reviewed more often.

In addition to the above training, fire brigade members who are expected to perform emergency rescue and interior structural fire fighting should, at a minimum, be familiar with the proper techniques in rescue and fire suppression procedures. Training and education should include fire protection courses, classroom training, simulated fire situations including "wet drills" and, when feasible, extinguishment of actual mock fires. Frequency of training or education must be at least quarterly, but some drills or classroom training should be conducted as often as monthly or even weekly to maintain the proficiency of fire brigade members.

There are many excellent sources of training and education that the employer may want to use in developing a training program for the workplace fire brigade. These sources include publications, seminars, and courses offered by universities.

There are also excellent fire school courses by such facilities as Texas A and M University, Delaware State Fire School, Lamar University, and Reno Fire School, that deal with those unique hazards which may be encountered by fire brigades in the oil and chemical industry. These schools, and others, also offer excellent training courses which would be beneficial to fire brigades in other types of industries. These courses should be a continuing part of the training program, and employers are strongly encouraged to take advantage of these excellent resources.

It is also important that fire brigade members be informed about special hazards to which they may be exposed during fire and other emergencies. Such hazards as storage and use areas of flammable liquids and gases, toxic chemicals, water-reactive substances, etc., can pose difficult problems. There must be written procedures developed that describe the actions to be taken in situations involving special hazards. Fire brigade members must be trained in handling these special hazards as well as keeping abreast of any changes that occur in relation to these special hazards.

Portable Fire Extinguishers §1910.157(g)

(g) Training and education.

(1) Where the employer has provided portable fire extinguishers for employee use in the workplace, the employer shall also provide an educational program to familiarize employees with the general principles of fire extinguisher use and the hazards involved with incipient stage fire fighting.

(2) The employer shall provide the education required in paragraph (g)(1) of §1910.157 upon initial employment and at least annually thereafter.

(3) The employer shall provide employees who have been designated to use fire fighting equipment as part of an emergency action plan with training in the use of the appropriate equipment.

(4) The employer shall provide the training required in §1910.157(g)(3) upon initial assignment to the designated group of employees and at least annually thereafter.

Fixed Extinguishing Systems §1910.160(b)(10)

(10) The employer shall train employees designated to inspect, maintain, operate, or repair fixed extinguishing systems and annually review their training to keep them up-to-date in the functions they are to perform.

Fire Detection Systems §1910.164(c)(4)

(4) The employer shall assure that the servicing, maintenance and testing of fire detection systems, including cleaning and necessary sensitivity adjustments, are performed by a trained person knowledgeable in the operations and functions of the system.

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