What should be included in fire safety training?

OSHA also encourages employers to train workers about potential fire hazards in the workplace and how to safely respond in the case of a fire emergency—everything from evacuation routes to using firefighting equipment.

As part of OSHA’s standard for fire prevention plans, employers are required to inform employees of the fire hazards they will be exposed to upon initial assignment to a job. Additionally, employers must also review the parts of the fire prevention plan necessary for self-protection to each employee. Additionally, employees should be trained on:

  • Housekeeping procedures for storage and cleanup of flammable materials and waste.
  • Safe handling and packaging of flammable wastes.
  • Procedures for controlling workplace ignition sources (smoking, burning, welding).

And there are a couple OSHA stands applicable to some, but not all, workplaces:

  • Emergency evacuations: Employers required to develop an emergency fire plan must describe routes to use when exiting and safe procedures to follow.
  • Portable fire extinguishers: While employers are not required to provide portable fire extinguishers, if employees are expected to use them they must be trained on the general principles of fire extinguisher use.

Once workplaces have covered the basics in fire safety training, some employers have their employees take additional safety courses and related risk assessment training. Fire training courses teach how to use firefighting equipment like fire extinguishers, how to activate the fire alarm, and how to work as a team, as well as learning what one’s own responsibilities are. When it comes to risk assessment training, workers can learn more about fire protection systems, how to clearly communicate with others about fire hazards, and how to help those who are more vulnerable than others.

Having a fire safety training program shouldn’t be about checking a box on OSHA standards, but a well-rounded training program that will help prevent fires through educating employees.

 

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