The probability of occurrence of fire at a workplace can be minimized to a considerable extent if some proper preliminary steps are taken. These steps will ensure that the conditions suitable for a fire hazard do not arise at a workplace. This is the basic objective of a Fire Prevention Plan (FPP). Just as in case with an Emergency Action Plan (EAP), OSHA does not mandate all the employers to have a FPP at workplace though it strongly recommends them to have one. OSHA only mandates employers to have a FPP if they are covered by any OSHA standard that requires a FPP. OSHA standards that require a FPP are as follows:
- Ethylene Oxide
When it comes to the communication of a FPP to all the employees, it is always preferable to have a written and documented FPP that can be put up at the workplace for the employee review. If the number of employees is 10 or less, then the FPP can be communicated orally. However, as stated earlier, it is always preferred to have a written and documented FPP. When the number of employees is more than 10, then a written and documented FPP is mandatory that can be put at the workplace for employee review.
Features of a Fire Prevention Plan (FPP)
While an EAP is concerned with the plans and procedures for the safety and evacuation of the employees and have to be executed after the hazard has taken place, a FPP is a set of plans and preparations that will inhibit any such actions and circumstances that can potentially lead to a fire hazard. FPP also concerns with maintenance of tools necessary to counter a hazard after it has occurred. Features of a FPP are as follows:
- It should provide procedures for storage and cleanup of flammable materials and waste.
- It should also provide handling and packaging of flammable waste like paper. Such inflammable waste materials are encouraged to recycle.
- Sources that can ignite a workplace like welding, burning and smoking should be covered with proper procedures.
- Proper procedures for cleaning and maintenance of heat producing equipment like ovens, stoves, geysers etc. should be addressed and flammable objects should be kept and stored away from such sources.
- Workers should be trained and informed about the potential fire hazards of their job and the plans and procedures to counter them.
- The plan should be kept for review and should be reviewed in case new employees join the firm or the plan is changed.