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    Default facial hair

    been told by several area depts. that there is a law banning volunteer firefighters from having facial hair. can someone help me by pointing out where exactlly we can find this law? we seem to not be able to find it anywhere.


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    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
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    this has been hotly debated over the years. It isn't just for volunteer FF's, it's for ALL FF's. Basically nothing (including facial hair) can affect your mask seal and/or fit test. Some people claim that beards, goatee's etc doesnt affect thier seal. In our department there is NO facial hair allowed past a well groomed 'stache`.
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
    ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
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    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
    "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

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    MembersZone Subscriber dmleblanc's Avatar
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    Weruj, I agree totally with it being a requirement on most departments, but is it actually a LAW? Maybe OSHA covers this, but this would be for any worker wearing respiratory protection, not just firefighters.
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream — and I hope you don't find this too crazy — is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    — C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

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    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
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    yes yes ...............you got Dwayne ,,,,,,,,,,,,, right on the target...........my miswording due to fatigue.
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
    ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
    RAY WAS HERE 08/28/05
    LETHA' FOREVA' ! 010607
    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
    "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

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    Quote Originally Posted by dmleblanc View Post
    Weruj, I agree totally with it being a requirement on most departments, but is it actually a LAW? Maybe OSHA covers this, but this would be for any worker wearing respiratory protection, not just firefighters.
    if its a law then were is it located?

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    MembersZone Subscriber dmleblanc's Avatar
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    I see more and more confusion in this area, especially from newer firefighters. I just answered a post on another thread about open-cab fire apparatus being "outlawed", then this one about facial hair being "outlawed". We need to do a better job of educating our new personnel about what a standard is, as opposed to "THE LAW". I think a lot of them are being misinformed during their training and orientation, either at a formal academy or during in-house training. "Yeah, I remember when we used to ride the tailboard, but they outlawed that." or "I used to wear 3/4 boots years ago, but they're illegal now". It's a little misleading for the new guys.

    Granted, I know in some states they have adopted NFPA standard as "the law", so in those states it would be illegal, technically. I don't know in how many states this is the case, though.
    Last edited by dmleblanc; 09-12-2008 at 03:25 AM.
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream — and I hope you don't find this too crazy — is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    — C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

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    I think it is an NFPA regulation. I don't have access to that information right now, but I can look later. I think it has something to do with some facial hair interfering with getting a seal on an SCBA mask.
    You should be able to find something if you google NFPA.

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    MembersZone Subscriber dmleblanc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brownsquirrel View Post
    I think it is an NFPA regulation. I don't have access to that information right now, but I can look later. I think it has something to do with some facial hair interfering with getting a seal on an SCBA mask.
    You should be able to find something if you google NFPA.
    Thank you for proving my point. I know WHY you're not supposed to have facial hair, my point is that NFPA is NOT a regulation, a law, a rule, or any other such thing. It is a national STANDARD. Again, it seems that some folks have been given the impression that NFPA is the LAW. It is not.
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream — and I hope you don't find this too crazy — is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    — C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

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    Oh, what the hell, might as well throw some more fuel on this fire....


    7.13 Using Respiratory Protection.
    7.13.1 Respirators shall not be worn when a member has any conditions that prevent a good face seal.
    7.13.2 Nothing shall be allowed to enter or pass through the area where the respiratory protection facepiece is designed to seal with the face, regardless of the specific fitting test measurement that can be obtained.
    7.13.3* Members who have a beard or facial hair at any point where the facepiece is designed to seal with the face or whose hair could interfere with the operation of the unit shall not be permitted to use respiratory protection at emergency incidents or in hazardous or potentially hazardous atmospheres.
    Again, this is from NFPA 1500, "Standard on Fire Department Occupational Safety and Health Program", which is not a LAW, only a STANDARD...a sort of set of "best practices" for the fire service. Individual fire departments are not REQUIRED to follow any of them, unless their state or local jurisdiction has decided to adopt these standards as local law.
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream — and I hope you don't find this too crazy — is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    — C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

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    I'd have to look, but I suspect it is under the realm of OSHA. Illinois (where I'm from) isn't an OSHA state, but IDOL (IL Dept. of Labor) may as well be, they copy most of OSHA's rules and laws governing "stuff."

    OSHA 1910.134 "Respiratory Protection" (29CFR)

    1910.134(g)(1)
    Facepiece seal protection.
    1910.134(g)(1)(i)
    The employer shall not permit respirators with tight-fitting facepieces to be worn by employees who have:
    1910.134(g)(1)(i)(A)
    Facial hair that comes between the sealing surface of the facepiece and the face or that interferes with valve function; or
    1910.134(g)(1)(i)(B)
    Any condition that interferes with the face-to-facepiece seal or valve function.
    1910.134(g)(1)(ii)
    If an employee wears corrective glasses or goggles or other personal protective equipment, the employer shall ensure that such equipment is worn in a manner that does not interfere with the seal of the facepiece to the face of the user.
    1910.134(g)(1)(iii)
    For all tight-fitting respirators, the employer shall ensure that employees perform a user seal check each time they put on the respirator using the procedures in Appendix B-1 or procedures recommended by the respirator manufacturer that the employer demonstrates are as effective as those in Appendix B-1 of this section.


    I haven't found the enforcement "teeth" part of this, but OSHA has enforcement ability unlike NFPA. We all know that they can levy some pretty serious fines.

    I don't see Ohio listed as an OSHA state. Too lazy to investgate further. I seriously doubt, however, that Ohio isn't following the "lead" of OSHA and other non-OSHA states that have adopted the standard (which I believe are Illinois, Florida and Oklahoma).

    Hope this makes sense. Late and I should be sleeping.
    "Share your knowledge - it's a way to achieve immortality." - Stolen from Chase Sargent's Buddy to Boss program

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    npfd801, I hear ya....OSHA is backed by law, NFPA is not. My whole point was that I keep hearing misinformed firefighters talking about "NFPA regulations" or "NFPA outlawed this or that" when this is not accurate.
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream — and I hope you don't find this too crazy — is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    — C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

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    Quote Originally Posted by dmleblanc View Post
    Thank you for proving my point. I know WHY you're not supposed to have facial hair, my point is that NFPA is NOT a regulation, a law, a rule, or any other such thing. It is a national STANDARD. Again, it seems that some folks have been given the impression that NFPA is the LAW. It is not.
    Depending on your state an NFPA STANDARD may be accepted as LAW... You would have to check with the state health board I would suggest or like many people have said OSHA or NIOSH or your states OSHA if there is one

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    Quote Originally Posted by detroitfire1552 View Post
    Depending on your state an NFPA STANDARD may be accepted as LAW...
    Yes, I've already acknowledged that...I'm just pointing out that NFPA does not "outlaw" anything, but your state may choose to "outlaw" equipment or practices that do not meet NFPA standards. So in a roundabout way, yes, such equipment would be illegal in your state, but not directly as a result of NFPA.
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream — and I hope you don't find this too crazy — is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    — C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

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    Well, it may be NFPA Standard, but there is no "law" against facial hair in OH. I know of at least one career OH department that allows it.

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    Hey if something happens due to a blown face seal that may have been caused by facial hair. Sorry no medical coverage so sad so sorry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Firemedic515 View Post
    Well, it may be NFPA Standard, but there is no "law" against facial hair in OH. I know of at least one career OH department that allows it.

    I've heard that in Amish country (aren't there some Amish in OH?) that there are many volunteer departments that have Amish members and they don't require clean shaven, for religious reasons. They mask up like everybody else..I guess they have an understanding that they are accepting that risk
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream — and I hope you don't find this too crazy — is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    — C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

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    Talking

    Sorry, just trying to help.

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