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  1. #1
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    Default Can someone point me to offical fire policy about shaving

    I need to know if there is a standard policy about having a clean shaven face as it relates to air apparatus.

    Thanks


  2. #2
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    Check you manufacturers directions for you face mask.
    IACOJ

  3. #3
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    Do the mfg instructions apply to internal policy as it relates to the airpacks also?

  4. #4
    Forum Member rescue133lt's Avatar
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    Here is what I have been able to find:

    OSHA's requirement 29 CFR 1901.134 (g)(1) Facepiece seal protection. (i) The employer shall not permit respirators with tight-fitting facepieces to be worn by employees who have: (A) Facial hair that comes between the sealing surface of the facepiece and the face or that interferes with valve function;

    ANSI Z88.2-1992 7.5.1 Facial Hair A respirator, either positive or negative pressure, equipped with a facepiece (tight or loose fitting) shall not be worn if the facial hair comes between the facepiece and the face or if facial hair interferes with valve function.

    NFPA 1500 5-3.9 A growth of beard or facial hair at any point where the SCBA facepiece is designed to seal with the face, regardless of the specific fit test measurement that can be obtained, or hair that could interfere with the facepiece valve function shall be prohibited for members required to use SCBA

    My wife used to work for a company that did respirator fit testing and she says they always required less than 24 hours facial hair growth to be able to test. I don't know if that is stated further in the codes listed or not.
    Lt. John Kaltenbach
    Mifflin Fire - Rescue 133
    Gahanna, OH

    "VermŲgen bevorzugt das tapfere!"

  5. #5
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    Thank you very much.

  6. #6
    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
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    eons ago we had a City Ordinace that defined a beard.......anything more than 48 hours of growth was considered a beard.
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
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  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber E229Lt's Avatar
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    Default

    Preambles and addendums to the OSHA standard define "stubble" as a beard.

  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber ChiefReason's Avatar
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    Default Correct you are, LT!

    I am certified to perform fit testing and I will not test anyone with a day's growth of facial whiskers. Clean shaven for the best seal!
    Smearing the beard with Vasoline or getting it wet will not enhance the seal of the facepiece.
    I will guarantee that once you get to the "Rainbow Passage", the seal will be broken.
    Moustache; yes. Beards, goatees and stubble will fail the test.
    CR
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  9. #9
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    I have a goatee of 1/4" and have passed a quantitative fit test without problems.

  10. #10
    Forum Member len1582's Avatar
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    Default

    Awhile back the Washington D.C. FD had a few court cases and the ruling from the Feds was if it's a religious thing the beard can stay. You might want to check a bit more.

  11. #11
    MembersZone Subscriber ChiefReason's Avatar
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    I cannot speak to any recent Supreme Court cases concerning religious beliefs and firefighting, but I can offer you my opinion, so I will.
    Wearing a respirator, in this case, SCBA and maintaining a proper seal has NOTHING to do with religion and has EVERYTHING to do with safety. Those who are firefighters who wish to exercise their religious beliefs by wearing beards, in my opinion, will not be permitted to perform the essentials functions of the job and therefore, will be disqualified from firefighting or at the very least, very limited in the tasks that they will be permitted to perform.
    The federal standard on wearing a respirator clearly states that no facial hair can come into contact with the part of the facepiece that must seal to be effective.
    If a person has passed a quantitative fit test with facial hair, then it is an anomoly. Or a do over!
    CR
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  12. #12
    Forum Member SafetyPro's Avatar
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    Originally posted by len1582
    Awhile back the Washington D.C. FD had a few court cases and the ruling from the Feds was if it's a religious thing the beard can stay. You might want to check a bit more.
    I think it was the San Francisco FD that had a case a few years ago where a firefighter claimed that because he couldn't shave due to a hereditary skin condition, requiring him to shave was a violation of ADA. The court ruled that based on that, he was medically unfit to wear a respirator and that ADA didn't apply.

    I agree with ChiefReason...if you have any facial hair that interferes with the sealing surface of the respirator, you have no business wearing a tight-fitting respirator. OSHA does allow for loose fitting respirators (hood type or others) with facial hair since there's no sealing surface per se, but I don't believe any of those are currently certified for fire service use.
    Chris Gaylord
    Emergency Planner / Fire Captain, UC Santa Cruz FD

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiefReason View Post
    I am certified to perform fit testing and I will not test anyone with a day's growth of facial whiskers. Clean shaven for the best seal!
    Smearing the beard with Vasoline or getting it wet will not enhance the seal of the facepiece.
    I will guarantee that once you get to the "Rainbow Passage", the seal will be broken.
    Moustache; yes. Beards, goatees and stubble will fail the test.
    CR
    Really? I've had a goatee for the 21 years I've been in the fire service and have passed (with flying colors) every fit test I've ever taken. Where, in any regulatory standard does it state that a mustache is ok, but beards, goatees, and stubble are not? I've read OSHA and NFPA and both simply state that you cannot have facial hair within the sealing surface or that impedes the seal of the mask. My goatee is kept trim and above the jaw line.

  14. #14
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Frankly, any judge that would challenge safety standards, in fact well established and proven safety standards, needs their head examined.

    Who will be responsible in DC if a firefighter for religious, or any other reason, wearing a beard and an SCBA, is overcome by smoke or toxic gasses and it is proven that the seal was not proper because of the beard?

    There are standards for all sorts of things in life and they are generally there for valid reasons. Just because you CAN challenge them, and find someone to support that challenge, doesn't make it right, or more importantly safe.
    Crazy, but that's how it goes
    Millions of people living as foes
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  15. #15
    MembersZone Subscriber tajm611's Avatar
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    what did you have to search to dig up this seven year old thread? Did you search firefighter goatees?
    ‎"I was always taught..." Four words impacting fire service education in the most negative of ways. -Bill Carey

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    You just joined and had to bump a thread that has been dead for SEVEN years to put your 2c in?

  17. #17
    Forum Member FiremanLyman's Avatar
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    Since this thread came back from the dead, here is a little line about shaving;

    "A businessman shaves in the morning, a playboy shaves at night. A firefighter is both a businessman and a playboy." Keep your face clean.
    ~Drew
    Firefighter/EMT/Technical Rescue
    USAR TF Rescue Specialist

  18. #18
    MembersZone Subscriber tajm611's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WD6956 View Post
    You just joined and had to bump a thread that has been dead for SEVEN years to put your 2c in?
    Did you join 3 years ago just to repeat what i said?
    ‎"I was always taught..." Four words impacting fire service education in the most negative of ways. -Bill Carey

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by tajm611 View Post
    Did you join 3 years ago just to repeat what i said?
    My comment was not the same as yours. It adresses the same issue, but not the same comment.

    In any event, I guess i missed the official memo that says once YOU make a comment, nobody else is allowed to make a comment that is similar. Sorry i stepped on your internet peepee.

  20. #20
    MembersZone Subscriber tajm611's Avatar
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    I'll let it slide this time only because I didn't mark where my peepee was. I normally have it wear its safety vest when its in the road but he thought his bunker coat was sufficient.
    ‎"I was always taught..." Four words impacting fire service education in the most negative of ways. -Bill Carey

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