Duty And Responsibility To Act Safely

TOPIC: DUTY AND RESPONSIBILITY TO ACT SAFELY TIME REQUIRED: TWO HOURS MATERIALS: APPROPRIATE AUDIO-VISUAL MATERIALS REFERENCES: Fire Department Safety Officer, 1st ed., International Fire Service Training Association; Essentials of Fire...

  1. Provides minimum requirements for fire service related occupational safety and health program

  2. Specifies health and safety guidelines for fire department and emergency services personnel

      involved in rescue, fire suppression, emergency medical services, hazardous materials operations,

     special operations, and other related activities

  3. Standard mandates safety training program, health and safety committee and position of health and

      safety officer within organization

D. Maryland Fire Service Health and Safety Consensus Standard ( copy is included at the end of the Guide)

  1. Issued by Maryland Occupational Safety and Health on January 1, 2002

  2. Provides a policy for development of health and safety standard by local fire and rescue

      departments within Maryland to protect members during emergency operations

  3. Standard applicable to all members of public safety departments that provide rescue, fire

      suppression, emergency medical services, hazardous materials mitigation, special operations, and

      other emergency services in Maryland

  4. Standard consists of sixteen sections

      a. Purpose

      b. Scope

      c. Definitions

     d. Organizational statement and operational procedures

     e. Implementation period

     f. Medical standards

     g. Substance abuse program

     h. Personal protective equipment (PPE) standards

     i. Emergency operations standards

     j. Investigation of vehicle collisions and personnel injuries

     k. Vehicles

     l. Tools and equipment

    m. Facility Safety

    n. Workplace violence

   o. Post incident analysis and critiques

   p. Revisions to the consensus standard

E. Legal, Ethical, and Economic Factors to Consider

  1. Legal responsibilities

      a. Responsibility for providing occupational safety and health program based upon applicable laws,

          codes, and standards

      b. Management has legal and ethical obligations to comply with law

  2. Ethical factors

      a. Fire chief takes pro-active approach to ensure safe and healthy work environment

      b. Approach means making safety primary part of department's policies and procedures

      c. Administration must show it supports creation, implementation, and enforcement of health and

          safety program

  3. Economic considerations

      a. Pro-active occupational safety and health program is means for protecting department's assets

         and protecting against catastrophic loss

      b. Cost of prevention is offset by savings from lost-time injuries, training replacement employees,

          worker's compensation costs, equipment replacement, and possible litigation



The portion of the lesson guide should be used as an opportunity to review various tasks and activities undertaken by firefighters on the emergency scene and identify potential safety concerns. This list is not intended to be all-inclusion but only to offer some points for discussion.

A. Personal Safety

  1. Walk rather than run on the scene and watch where you are walking

  2. Watch for slippery surfaces

  3. Hydrate regularly whether or not you need it and rest periodically

  4. Watch out for each other before taking any action

  5. Use common sense when undertaking any activity

  6. Work within the established accountability system and avoid freelancing by staying with your officer

      and crew

  7. Make sure the scene is safe before stopping and exiting the apparatus

      a. Downed power lines that may energize vehicles at a automobile accident or the ground as you

          step off the apparatus

      b. Stability of the building

      c. Moving traffic or other arriving emergency vehicles, especially on heavily traveled roadways

          where traffic had not been rerouted or halted

      d. Unusual conditions that may indicate the presence of explosives or other hazards designed injury