Is fire extinguisher training required by an OSHA regulation or is it just a best (recommended) practice?
Fire extinguisher training is required by OSHA regulation. 1910.157(g)(1)+(2): "[…W]here 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 state fire fighting. The employer shall provide the education required in the paragraph [of this section] upon initial employment and at least annually thereafter."
How do I know if we have enough fire extinguishers?
The general guidelines recommend placing fire extinguishers no more than 75 ft (22.9 m) of travel distance away from Class "A" hazards (trash, wood, paper, or other combustible materials) and no more than 50 ft (15.2 m) away from Class "B" hazards (flammable or combustible liquids).
How often does OSHA require fire extinguishers to be inspected?
OSHA states that "the employer shall be responsible for the inspection, maintenance, and testing of all portable fire extinguishers in the workplace", according to 1910.157(e)(1). All portable fire extinguishers should be visually inspected—at minimum—every 30 days. They should be inspected more frequently when circumstances require. Furthermore, they shall be subject to an annual maintenance check, the date of which the employer must record (and retain the record for one year until the last entry or the life of the shell).
Does OSHA require all employees to be trained on fire extinguisher use?
Yes. The employer must provide an education program to ensure that all employees are familiar with the general principles of fire extinguisher use and the hazards of firefighting. More specifically, the employer can also designate employees to be part of an emergency action plan and therefore must train them to use the firefighting equipment. Both of these types of training must be provided annually by the employer.
Does OSHA require all workplaces to have fire extinguishers?
No, but the workplaces must present a suitable alternative. Employers are generally required by 29 CFR 1910 to provide portable fire extinguishing equipment in order to fight incipient stage fires. However, employers who do not want to expose any of their employees to the risk of fighting an incipient stage fire can opt for the evacuation of their employees to a safe area, provided that the employer evacuates all employees to safety once a fire does occur. OSHA does provide further alternatives, but these must still comply with certain requirements depending on the option chosen by the employer.
At what height does OSHA say fire extinguishers are to be mounted?
It doesn’t. OSHA isn’t picky about height, but it firmly states that you must: "mount, locate, and identify [fire extinguishers] so that they are readily accessible to employees without subjecting the employees to possible injury", according to 1910.157(c)(1).
DVD cost effectively trains and retrains an unlimited amount of employees.
No trainer required, just pop in and play.
Video content keeps trainees engaged.
Very convenient, multiple employees don’t need to be pulled off the floor at once for a training session.
Includes both video content and an interactive quiz element to keep workers engaged.
More engaging than traditional training formats.
Can be customized to fit a companies specific work environment and equipment.
The only training option that can cover the "hands on" and "evaluation" portions of the training in addition to the "classroom" portion of the training.
Can be difficult to pull multiple workers off the floor at once to watch the video.
The DVD can get lost or scratched.
DVD can only train workers at a single location.
Due to the per person pricing format, it’s expensive for large companies that need to train hundreds or thousands of employees.
By far the most expensive training medium.
Administering refresher training as well as initial training for new employees can be a logistical nightmare.
NOTE: All information provided on this site is provided for information purposes only. It is not intended as legal or compliance advice and does not represent advice with regard to specific practices or undertakings. Compliance and Safety shall not be responsible for any damages including direct, indirect, special, punitive, incidental, exemplary, consequential damages, lost revenues, lost profits, damage to or loss of products, loss of data, or any claims or damages whatsoever, arising out of or in connection with your use of this web site or any linked external sites.