From: Brian Wazlaw <briwazlaw**At_Symbol_Here**AOL.COM>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Fire extinguisher use in chem labs by instructors
Date: Fri, 4 Dec 2015 14:03:28 -0500
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: 1516e60af22-603e-1b88f**At_Symbol_Here**
In-Reply-To <58C74A3BBE6D644C8538C5848AC53025D51AC22A**At_Symbol_Here**>

   Hi Meg,
     I would first check Wisconsin's regs on fire extinguishers and training.
     The info below, OSHA 1910.157, should be of help.   My own opinion and which I use is to have all science teachers trained in the use of fire extinguishers. This is accomplished in conjunction with the local fire dept.  They will provide info on when to use a fire extinuguisher and above all the the 'golden rule' - evacuate.
Have a great day,
      Where the employer has established and implemented a written fire safety policy which   requires the immediate and total evacuation of employees from the workplace upon the sounding of a fire alarm signal and which includes an emergency action plan and a fire prevention plan which meet the requirements of 29 CFR 1910.38 and 29 CFR 1910.39 respectively, and when extinguishers are not available in the workplace, the employer is exempt from all requirements of this section unless a specific standard in part 1910 requires that a portable fire extinguisher be provided.
1910.157(b)(2)Where the employer has an emergency action plan meeting the requirements of 1910.38 which designates certain employees to be the only employees authorized to use the available portable fire extinguishers, and which requires all other employees in the fire area to immediately evacuate the affected work area upon the sounding of the fire alarm, the employer is exempt from the distribution requirements in paragraph (d) of this section.
1910.157(g)(1)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 fire fighting.
Brian Wazlaw, Ed.D.
-----Original Message-----
From: Osterby, Meg <OsterbyM**At_Symbol_Here**WESTERNTC.EDU>
Sent: Thu, Dec 3, 2015 9:30 pm
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Fire extinguisher use in chem labs by instructors

Hello all,
I am part of our college=E2=80™s safety committee and there has been a discussion ongoing in the committee about OSHA's requirements for availability and use of fire extinguishers in the workplace.  Some of the information we have found suggests that the option to not provide extinguishers, or train anyone to use them, is okay by OSHA.  However, in LaCrosse, the local fire codes require extinguishers to be present.  So the question is, if they are present, does it behoove us to train lab instructors (shop instructors, cooking instructors, etc.) in their use, and if we do, are those persons with the training required to use the extinguisher, if appropriate?  And, since we have to have the extinguishers, but one of the OSHA options we've been told is to train no-one and forbid their use, would that apply to chem teaching labs?  And if it does, why are they there?  I understand that as a chemical professional it is my duty to be knowledgeable and trained in the appropriate safety procedures for any chemical we use, but is that a legal requirement, and if it is, does it need to be in the person's job description?  And if so, how would that relate to fire extinguisher use?  If the college requires me to use one, does it need to put that in my job description?  The OSHA rule seems to make it clear that if they require that, they have to provide regular training, but beyond that, I'm lost.
Does anyone know how this works, and what the law requires our college to do?  We have been looking at a PP document we found on-line, which I've summarized the pertinent info from into a Word document, that I'd be happy to forward off the list-serve.  Frankly we are really confused.  Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks much,
Meg Osterby
Lead Chemistry Instructor
Western Technical College
400 7th St. N.
LaCrosse, WI 54601
"It's  better to be careful 100 times, than to be killed once." 
                                                    Mark Twain

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