FIRE!! Is your extinguisher training current?

Anyone who has needed to use a fire extinguisher will agree that when the need arises there is no better friend. Extinguishers have saved countless lives and untold amounts of property from damage.
In most workplaces they are thought of about as much as the paint trim. However, employers need to pay attention to what OSHA has to say about their use, specifically:

Where the employer has provided portable fire extinguishers for employee use in the workplace, the employer shall also provide an educational program to familiarize employees with the general principles of fire extinguisher use and the hazards involved with incipient stage firefighting.”

There are circumstances where using the extinguisher can cause injury to the user or people around the fire, so this requirement has merit. Also, not all fire extinguishers are appropriate for all types of fires. Training on knowing when to use an extinguisher and how to correctly operate it are an OSHA mandate.
Since there are very few workplaces without fire extinguishers, if you do not have a clear policy in place both for training and qualifying employees in their use and informing all personnel of what to do in case of fire this article may give you a starting place to fill the gap.


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