The NFPA 1500 standard is concerned with fire departments

Time Running Out to Comment on NFPA 1500

NFPA wants public input by July 6 on the standard, which addresses fire departments' occupational safety and health programs.

NFPA is urging members to submit comments on important issues involving NFPA 1500, Standard on Fire Department Occupational Safety and Health Program. Public inputs on the standard can be submitted only through July 6.

The issues include work hour requirements. NFPA 1500 does not set requirements on the maximum number of hours a firefighter can work in a given shift; NFPA wants to know whether stakeholders believe there it should specify a maximum number of hours a firefighter should work in one shift and, if so, what they believe the maximum should be.

Another issue is exposure control. Specifically, what cleaning, maintenance, and training requirements/procedures should be included in NFPA 1500 to minimize firefighters' exposure to carcinogens and toxins? And what changes in NFPA 1500 would better protect firefighters?

NFPA's Susan McKelvey pointed out in a June 30 blog post that NFPA 1500 requires firefighters to be seated and belted while riding aboard a fire apparatus. "NFPA 1906 has approved an exception to this requirement, which accommodates a new fire apparatus designed specifically for fighting wildfires. The change in NFPA 1906 could directly impact the current NFPA 1500 requirement," she wrote. Two questions she asked her audience to answer:

  • Do you think it's safe for firefighters to ride unseated and unbelted in specific fire engine designs?
  • Do you think the proposed change should be accepted? Why or why not?

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