The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) is a part of the federal government’s U.S. Department of Labor. OSHA is responsible for monitoring and regulating safety rules for businesses and industries across the nation. Part of OSHA’s jurisdiction is controlling and preventing fires and explosions. According to federal mandates, employers must adhere to the following fire safety rules:
1. Employers must have fire prevention plans as required by OSHA standards.
2. Fire prevention plans must be posted in writing in the workplace so that all employees can review them. For companies with fewer than 10 employees, fire prevention plans can be communicated verbally.
3. Fire prevention plans must include: a list of all major fire hazards, proper handling and storage procedures for hazardous materials, potential ignition sources and their control and the fire equipment necessary to control each major hazard. They must also include a description of procedures to control accumulations of flammable and combustible waste materials, procedures for regular maintenance of safeguards installed on heat-producing equipment to prevent accidental ignition of combustible materials, the name/job title of employees responsible for maintaining equipment to prevent or control sources of ignition or fires and the name/job title of employees responsible for the control of fuel source hazards.
4. Employers must also inform employees upon initial assignment to a job of the fire hazards to which they are exposed.
If these rules are not followed, employees can be at a much higher risk for injury from fires and explosions on the job. If you have been injured in the workplace due to improper procedures, contact a lawyer to fight for your rights.