This shopping bonanza leading off the holiday shopping season has implications for workers who may have long workdays and expanded work schedules. The approaching season offers an ideal time for a workplace safety refresher for those retail employers and employees who are on the front lines of the shopping frenzy.
OSHA requires a company to comply in a number of different fire safety areas. While these standards may look daunting, a basic understanding of how these standards are developed and set up can be helpful in ensuring your company is ready for OSHA scrutiny in this area.
It is important to understand that OSHA relies on their standards since the standards are used for other purposes, such as obtaining property coverage, complying with local codes, and simply providing a safe workplace under Section 5 a 1the General Department of occupational safety and h Clause.
These standards are intertwined and overlapping. Those applying to lesser-known industries include 29 CFR Shipyard Employment29 CFR Marine Terminals29 CFR Longshoringand 29 CFR dealing with "Gear Certification" for "the purpose of certificating vessels' cargo gear and shore-based material handling devices, and the manner in which such certification shall be performed.
Knowing these broad categories will help your organization determine which standards might apply. A construction company working in a manufacturing firm might find itself bound by General Industry standards; likewise, a manufacturing firm involved in a plant expansion might come under the Construction standards.
It is important to ensure that you use OSHA's criteria for determining which standards apply regarding fire protection or any other safety area, as opposed to your own. For example, a construction company working in a manufacturing firm might find itself bound by General Industry standards; likewise, a manufacturing firm involved in a plant expansion might come under the Construction standards.
The first is Subpart E, which covers exit routes, emergency action plans, and fire prevention plans. Specifically, this standard covers the issue of ventilation.
As any safety professional knows, you need a source of fuel for fire to occur. Although the issue of ventilation can deal with a host of other safety concerns, such as industrial hygiene, the role ventilation plays in the fire triangle is the reason for its inclusion in OSHA fire safety standards.
Subpart H includes flammable and combustible liquids Just like Subpart G, the standards overlap regarding the disciplines of safety. For example, it is in this subpart that the Process Safety Management Standard is found. Subpart L contains those standards that one might consider traditional fire protection.
It is in Subpart L that requirements for fire extinguishers, alarms, standpipe and hose systems, and similar "traditional" fire concerns are addressed.
Subpart N of addresses the issue of materials handling and storage. Specifically, the hazard of powered industrial trucks, their use, and refueling or recharging are examined.
OSHA's requirements to counter the inherent hazards of welding, cutting, and brazing are found in Subpart Q. As anyone familiar with welding knows, there is a tremendous difference regarding the hazards of oxygen-fuel gas welding and resistance welding. In addition to general requirements, OSHA recognizes and has different requirements for the various types of welding, cutting, and brazing.
Of course, although those industries share hazards, they also have hazards inherent to their particular operations. Those who have dealt with fire protection know that Material Safety Data Sheets required under the HazCom Standard are invaluable in assessing the hazards of a particular chemical, including the fire hazard, as well as how to fight a fire containing such a chemical should the need arise.
MSDSs also are valuable to outside sources ranging from insurance representatives to the fire department. For example, Subpart C of has requirements for fire protection and prevention, egress, and emergency action plans. While there are standards in the General Industry catalog for these concerns, 29 CFR is specific to Construction.
These subparts are uniquely construction-related. Although there are specific standards for construction, the construction industry also has to comply with the fire safety standards contained in 29 CFR Like any other area of the law, there are OSHA standards that are never enforced.
The big questions is, which standards are enforced--so that, regardless of other safety efforts, the company will be ready for an OSHA inspection? Clearly, OSHA pays a significant amount of attention to egress and exits.
What specifically OSHA issued citations for regarding portable fire extinguishers is not reported in these statistics, however. A search was done for keywords "fire" and "egress," as well as the words "flammable" and "combustible.
The first was A standard had to be in the top 31 most frequently cited standards, divided up among General Industry 17Construction 13and the General Duty Clause, to have been cited by OSHA 1, times or more.
Based on this analysis, one can see that while OSHA does pay attention to fire safety, it pays much more attention to other areas see the chart below. However, searching for "exit" found many more, with OSHA citing for "Maintenance, safeguards, and operational features for exit routes" under The Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, with its nationally ranked education programs, is pleased to offer this Occupational Safety Certificate program to undergraduate students, graduate students, and working professionals.
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Public Employees Occupational Safety and Health (PEOSH) develops and enforces occupational health standards for public employees, and encourages employers and employees to improve their working environment. Occupational Safety & Health Standards Board (OSHSB) Occupational Safety & Health Appeals Board (OSHAB) Workers' Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB) Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC) Search; Worker Safety and Health in Wildfire Regions.
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