Upcoming OSHA Shift to “Emergency Response” from “Fire Brigades” Standard

From CPSM Director Tom Wieczorek

OSHA is in the early stages of updating the 1980’s standard for regulating fire brigades. It will have a significant impact on departments – volunteer, combination and career. The existing standard was written when SCBA, turnout gear, National Incident Management System, National Response Framework and many other safety initiatives had not even been thought about, much less implemented. The 1980 standard also applied ONLY to firefighting.

The new proposed standard, 1910.156, updates the regulations and will be titled, “Emergency Response” instead of “Fire Brigades” Standard. Public comments are now being taken on the work done by various workgroups, largely led by fire service entities. Open written public comments can be made, a virtual public hearing is being planned, and post hearing comments will also be allowed.

How will the standard be expanded?
  • Organization of Workplace Emergency Response Teams and Programs
  • Employee Participation
  • Risk Management Plans
  • Medical and Physical
  • Requirements
  • Training
  • Workplace and Facility Preparedness
  • Equipment and PPE
  • Vehicle Preparedness and Operations
  • Pre-incident planning
  • Emergency Service Organization
  • Pre-incident planning; Incident Management Systems
  • Emergency Incident Operations
  • Standard Operating Policies and Procedures
  • Post-incident analyses
Many areas of NFPA standards will likely be integrated. NFPA is updating NFPA 1710, 1720, and 1730 into a new 1750 standard, and EMS teams are also working to integrate existing NFPA Standards.

For more information, this podcast from the U.S. Fire Administration and OSHA provides a broad outline on the transition: https://www.usfa.fema.gov/blog/usfa-and-osha-presentation-on-the-emergency-response- notice-of-proposed-ruling/

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