1. #1
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    Default Eye protection and helmet standards

    Recently, my fire chief decided that all of our helmets needed to be NFPA compliant. This in itself is not such a bad thing, but it has raised considerable controversy in my dept. Most of the firefighters have the plastic Carnes helmets with the shield. I, and a number of others have leather helmets with the Borkes type shields. I have always used safety glasses and or goggles that are ANSI approved but now the chief is telling me that in order for my helmet to be NFPA compliant it must have the large goggles attached to the helmet. How do all the departments that allow Borkes on their helmets meet the NFPA or OSHA standards? If I leave these goggles on my helmet, they will be destroyed in the next fire we go to. I am not buying a new pair of goggles after every fire!!!!! Any guidance here would be greatly appreciated.
    "Never trust a smiling dog"
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    1st of all, just adding goggles to a helmet does not make it compliant. In order for a helmet to be NFPA compliant it must be shipped from the factory with that lil ole label that says so......

    I have a N6A that is compliant, and I added bourkes to it. It is still compliant provided I leave the goggles on it.

    So tell your Chief that in order for the helmet to meet the current standard, it must have been purchased that way. Otherwise it a non-NFPA compliant helmet with goggles on it. Maybe the thought of having to buy all new helmets will give you some room for "negotiation".

    Dave

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    The helmets that you see with just the bourkes are not NFPA compliant. They pass OSHA standards but not NFPA. The eye protection and the inner-shell of the helmet are what determine compliance.

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    Here's an addition to my first post addressed to the brothers in the FDNY specifically. How does the city get around the NFPA helmet standard regarding the borkes on helmets?. I understand that they (the eye shields),are OSHA compliant but here's where it becomes fuzzy. OSHA, NFPA, both set standards for safety, is it a matter of who the municipality chooses to follow that determines policy adherence? Who's right? who wins in court?
    Don't get me wrong here, I am all for wearing the proper eye protection, thats why I wer ANSI approved safety glasses and carry the Carnes impact resistant goggles in my turnout coat pocket. I just dont't understand the concept of placing an expensive pair of goggles on a helmet that will be destroyed in the next fire I respond to, simply for compliance to a standard? Thoughts anyone?
    "Never trust a smiling dog"
    Delaware F.O.O.L. FTM-PTB-EGH

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    My N6A was NFPA compliant (Bourkes and Goggles) but now the goggles reside in my pocket. Just like Dave said, its irrelevant to make your helmet NFPA unless it began its life that way.
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    Here is an earlier discussion that may help some people out.
    http://cms.firehouse.com/forums2/sho...threadid=53660

    ESS Goggles has a set of goggles that can be quickly connected and disconnected, and if installed on the helmet from the factory will make it NFPA compliant as far as the eye protection requirements go. Remember, as mentioned earlier, you can't just add these goggles and make your helmet NFPA compliant, it has to come from the factory with them and the "little ol label" that says tested and found to be NFPA compliant.
    Here is the ESS Website http://www.essgoggles.com/products/structural.html

    I have a traditional helmet with Bourkes on the front, and I keep the ESS goggles on the back. If I am packing up for a structure call or doing any live fire training I just remove the goggles and drop them in my pocket. Once the fire is done I pull them back out and put them on for overhaul.

    Good luck sorting it out!

    Good Luck, Stay Safe,
    Mike Richardson
    torichardson@hotmail.com

    (This post is not an endorsement of any product or manufacturer, just my two cents)

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    I have bourkes on my helmet, I carry 2 sets of saftey glasses. One set is in my gear for MVA's, overhaul etc. and the others are in the fanny pack I wear on medical calls. Alot of people have bourkes on their helmets, and safety glasses work good for me. And if I am not mistaken, are'nt the 4" fachsheilds not NFPA compliant for primary eye protection anymore?
    No longer an explorer, but I didn't wanna lose my posts.

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    Smokeetr4,

    To answer your question. NY is an OSHA state. We don't "get around" the standards. We don't have to follow NFPA standards because as you said they are only standards. And honestly I've used faceshields as well as Bourkes and they are both as effective or ineffective as the other one. For me bourkes work just fine. And they don't break like faceshields do or make the helmet off balanced.

    I personally wouldn't wear goggles on my helemt for the very reason that after you get into a fire everything from heat, soot, ash, plaster, insulation and everthing else gets on an inside the goggles...and then one is to place them right next to their eyes??

    My bourkes are not directly next to my eyes and are easy to wipe clean with my glove.

    If you are going to have goggles place them in a pocket.

    FTM-PTB

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    [QUOTE]Originally posted by hfd66truck
    [B]1st of all, just adding goggles to a helmet does not make it compliant. In order for a helmet to be NFPA compliant it must be shipped from the factory with that lil ole label that says so......

    I am not sure if that is completely true. I ordered a Plastic Paul Conway traditional over 3 years ago w/ Bourkes only. The helmet had the NFPA 1971 compliant sticker. Maybe the factory made an error or the rules have changed since then. Also, If you do add compliant goggles, as an after thought (whichever goggle could have been put on at the factory), who is to say your NFPA sticker didn't fall off? I am sure the insurance companies will find a way to fault you. I carry a pair of cairns NFPA goggles with me in my pocket. I guess I am taking a gamble in an NFPA state. Stay safe!!

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    Does anyone know if you're required to have the ear/neck protector on your helemet?

    Thanks,

    Bobby Murphy

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    Well... if ya want just put the goggles on your helmet, who cares if they get all crapped up at your next job. You don't use them anyway, just put them there to make the chief happy. Probably not the best advice but just a thought....

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    Yes the NFPA standard changed only a few years ago it was the first change since 1971 it took away the labeling of gear and made it more simple. They also made changes to the type and amount of eye protection and I do believe that the face sheild is no longer compliant thats why my company issued safety glasses to everyone.

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    I AM CURIOUS AS TO WHICH GOGGLE COMPANY PAID NFPA TO MAKE THAT THE STANDARD. I HAVE NEVER SEEN GOGGLES USED. THEY ARE ALWASY UP THERE THOUGH, BREAKING, AND GETTING IN THE WAY. PICK ONE STANDARD AND GO WITH IT. BOTTOM LINE IS THAT IF YOU WEAR SAFETY GLASSES WITH BOURKES OR SHIELDS, AND SOMETHING HAPPENS TO YOUR EYES, I WOULD WAGER THAT GOGGLES WOULDN'T HAVE PREVENTED THAT INJURY EITHER. BEFORE YOU KNOW IT NFPA WILL WANT US TO WEAR THESE SPACE AGE, POWER RANGER HELMETS, ARE WE GOING TO???? THE JOB IS UNSAFE, YOU CAN ONLY TAKE SO MANY PRECAUTIONS. THEN IT FALLS OUT OF OUR HANDS.

  14. #14
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    Default compliance

    NFPA requires that a helmet ship with goggles or a 4" visor (6" for ARFF). The goggles or visor must be supplied by the helmet manufacturer. Goggles also offer ANSI eye protection, meeting OSHA requirements for primary eye protection. Visors meet OSHA requirements for face, but not eye protection. Bourkes/flip downs do not meet any safety requirement.

    Most states and FDs can choose if they want to follow NFPA standards; very few states mandate them. All states must follow OSHA, or have state requirements that are at least as strict as OSHA.

    Buying ESS goggles and placing them on a fire helmet will NOT make them NFPA compliant. As someone mentioned, there should also be a sticker inside the helmet indicating compliance to NFPA 1971.

    If you want to propose that NFPA 1971 be altered to remove the goggle and visor requirement, any interested member can offer public proposals to change the standard.

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