OSHA Fire Safety in Your Practice

 

We often get so engulfed in OSHA’s many requirements for healthcare facilities such as Hepatitis B vaccinations, TB testing, and safer sharps utilization, that we forget about the general requirements such as Fire Safety.

 

 

Employers must take all reasonable measures to prevent fires in the workplace.  There are many reasonable measures that a practice can have in place, for some examples on easy ones to implement, see the following:

  • Ensuring smoke alarms, sprinklers, and/or fire extinguishers are provided as feasible

    • Ensuring all fire extinguishers are of an approved type and maintained as required by the manufacturer and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

      • This includes an annual service by a professional and monthly visual checks by an employee.All checks will be documented on the tags and/or an appropriate log.

  • Prohibiting smoking in the workplace

  • Prohibiting the use of candles in the workplace

  • Allowing only the use of portable fans or heaters which are approved by management and used with strict precautions

  • Always replace all worn or frayed wires

  • Keep combustibles away from electrical sources

  • Store flammables away from flames or ignition sources

  • Eliminate flammables where feasible

  • Never overload circuits or outlets

  • Never allow cords to cross walking surfaces

  • Clean up leaks and spills immediately

     

    OSHA Fire Safety requirements to consider for your office:

  • Fire Prevention Plans

    • These can be written or oral, depending on the amount of employees in your office. (If you have 10 or more employees, your plans need to be written.)

  • Safe storage and handling of flammable liquids and compressed gases

  • Following the National Fire Protection Association guidelines, as well as local Fire Codes

 

 

Remember, OSHA is concerned about the overall health and safety of your employees.  Your employees are vital to your organization’s success- let’s protect our employees from any threats or vulnerabilities posed to them!

 

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