A fire extinguisher is a simple tool that can prevent major fires in the workplace. However, not everyone knows how to use it properly. That’s why it’s important to train your employees to use this potentially life-saving equipment, ensuring that they can react confidently in case of a fire emergency. It may be a good idea to ask key personnel to pursue an OSHA safety certification for hands-on fire extinguisher training. This can make a difference in the overall safety of your employees and your workplace overall.
But is OSHA safety training required? The answer depends on the situation. If you want to make sure that any employee can effectively use a portable fire extinguisher, then it’s best to provide training. As per 1910.157(g)(1), it’s the employer’s responsibility to provide an educational program to its employees to make sure they are familiar with the basics of using a fire extinguisher and the hazards involved with fire-fighting.
1910.155 paragraph (c)(14) defines ‘education’ as a process of imparting skill or knowledge through systematic instruction. It doesn’t necessarily mean formal classroom instruction, but at a minimum, employers must provide workers instructions on how to use fire extinguishers and the hazards of early-stage fires.
OSHA does not require any hands-on training. Some employers provide safety videos, toolbox talks, informational brochures, and online fire extinguisher courses instead.
That said, certain OSHA standards particularly 1910.252(a)(2)(iii)(B) under welding, cutting, and brazing state that a trained fire-watch must be stationed nearby during any hot work. This is where OSHA standard 1910.157(g)(2) on portable fire extinguishers becomes relevant. Employees who are designated to use any fire-fighting equipment should be trained so that they can earn an OSHA training certification.
The 1910.157(g)(1) standard further explains that education must be provided to an employee upon initial employment. Training is also essential at least once every year onwards.
Portable fire extinguisher training should ideally include hands-on instruction to be effective. However, that doesn’t mean real fires must be started and extinguished to simulate emergency fire situations during training. Hands-on training doesn’t equate to live fire demonstration. As a minimum, the hands-on training must include how to discharge fire extinguishers appropriate for the anticipated types of fires. This means that employees must learn how to discharge the right portable fire extinguisher as part of their training.
Invest in your employees’ safety with OSHA safety certification for fire extinguisher training. Encourage your employees to enroll in a relevant course that will enable them to prevent fires and save lives. The training must also teach them to use fire extinguishers and discharge the equipment properly when needed.
Impact Safety offers hands-on fire extinguisher training. The OSHA safety training program is provided by professional trainers and includes the basics of fire extinguisher locations, common fire hazards, proper procedures, and safe evacuation routes. The course is perfect for all workers. An OSHA training certification will be provided upon successful completion.