Fires might not be one of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA’s) “Fatal Four,” but that doesn’t mean contractors should slack on providing their workers with the knowledge and training needed for them to take the correct actions if a fire-related incident arises on the project site.
In part one of this two-part series, the Birmingham contractor attorneys at Cotney Construction Law discussed the importance of fire safety on the project site. After contemplating some suggestions provided by the fire service, we examined some revisions being made to the International Fire Code. Now, we will discuss some training considerations for contractors who want to protect their workforce against project site fires.
Clarifying Response Protocols
Industry representatives understand the importance of establishing stronger protocols for dealing with project site fires. Fires are unpredictable and dangerous, so contractors and their workers need clear guidelines to follow in order to prevent fires from spreading beyond the project site. While the fire service acknowledges that enforcement of existing protocols has been lackluster, they are prepared to double down on their efforts for the proliferation of project site fire safety. In a world where many industry leaders have a proclivity to fix problems through knee-jerk responses, it’s encouraging to see that experts in fire safety are taking a proactive approach for the benefit of the construction industry and the emergency services sector.
New Training for Project Site Fires
After receiving a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM) Fire Research and Education Foundation allocated additional resources to training not only fire response personnel, but also developers, contractors, and subcontractors. This indicates that the fire service recognizes the dangers of project site fires and is acting quickly to address the issue. These training services are intended to create a collaborative approach to fire safety through a coordinated effort between fire safety personnel and construction professionals. The goal is to keep communities safe and reduce the number of fire-related injuries and fatalities that occur annually. Furthermore, this training will be utilized to meet the code requirements established for verifying the competency of construction site safety directors.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.