If your business or organization uses fire extinguishers, it is essential to make sure it is functioning as they should, and the proper training ensures the user is doing it properly. Is fire extinguisher training required by OSHA? According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), it is vital in an employment setting to provide fire extinguisher training.
Why is Fire Extinguisher Training Important?
In a workplace setting, fires pose a very real threat. Fire prevention training is critical, but fires can still break out, especially in commercial settings with open flames. This is why your employees need to know how to put out fires.
What Are the OSHA Rules?
According to the OSHA guidelines 1910.157(g)(1) and 1910.157(g)(2), if portable fire extinguishers are provided for employee use in the workplace, the employer must offer an educational program for the general principles of fire extinguisher use upon initial employment and at least on an annual basis.
Employers have three different options to comply with fire protection:
- A building-wide evacuation when the alarm sounds can make employers exempt from providing this training.
- Designating specific employees to use the equipment.
- Allowing all employees to use fire extinguishers.
Employers can choose one of the three options. Still, it is critical to understand there are limitations with the first two options. Ideally, all employees should be able to use fire extinguishers in an emergency. Although this may require the biggest investment, it provides peace of mind for everyone in your business environment.
What Happens in Fire Extinguisher Training?
The rules set out by OSHA require employees to have hands-on training. While there are methods for employees to use digital fire extinguisher training systems, the individual needs to understand what the extinguisher feels like and identify the risks.
What Are the Rules When Using a Fire Extinguisher?
While people must undergo full training to use a fire extinguisher, the PASS acronym is a very helpful guide to help anyone in emergency situations:
P – Pull the pin.
A – Aim the nozzle at the base of the blaze.
S – Squeeze the handle.
S – Sweep the nozzle from side to side until the flames are out.
Why It’s Essential to Have Fire Extinguisher Training
Hands-on training should be part and parcel of any organization. Still, many businesses create policies forbidding their employees to use fire extinguishers, believing that the evacuation plan is sufficient.
It is worthwhile to consider putting employees through training so they are able to act quickly if faced with a workplace fire. You and your employees should know what to do in a fire situation.