Westbrook, CT (PRWEB) May 07, 2014
Gowrie Group, a prominent insurance agency, publishes monthly Risk & Safety Reports. Portable fire extinguishers can be found everywhere: in homes, in the workplace, on boats, in vehicles. But just having extinguishers around is not enough, especially in the workplace. When extinguishers are provided for use by employees, OSHA’s standards for placement, use, maintenance, and testing must be complied with – both for safety and to avoid multiple $7,000 fines. OSHA fines are per violation, and in this case, it means per fire extinguisher! OSHA’s complete standards for Portable Fire Extinguishers are in regulation 29 CFR 1910.157.
Placement is all about ease of access. Blocking an extinguisher (like shown in the photo) is both unsafe and a sure way to a $7,000 OSHA violation fine.
Gowrie Group recommends following these placement guidelines:
Common Types: Different extinguishers are designed to fight different types of fires. Most extinguishers are combination extinguishers, of the “ABC” type, which can be used to fight many common fires.
A Type – For common combustibles; paper, wood and trash
B Type – For flammable liquids, greases and gases
C Type – For electrical fires
D Type – For metals
K or F Type – For kitchens or cooking oils
Spacing: The potential type of fire dictates the required spacing and distance from employees. For Class A or D fires, travel distance for employees to any extinguisher must be 75 feet or less. For Class B fires, travel distance must be 50 feet or less. For Class C fires, travel distance is based on appropriate pattern for the existing Class A or Class B hazards.
Training – Employees need to know how to use them.
Inspection and Maintenance – If extinguishers don’t work they are useless.
Gowrie's Safety & Loss Prevention insights are created by Kellie Crete. Kellie manages Gowrie Group's Safety & Loss Prevention practice area and has more than 25 years of experience in safety and loss control, and specializes in advising the marine industry and other niche segments of the commercial marketplace. Kellie is an OSHA authorized instructor.