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Fire Protection Fire Safety Plan

A fire safety plan that covers all actions that should be taken must be developed and implemented to ensure employee safety in the event of a fire. [1915.502(a)] A fire safety plan provides workers with information and guidelines to assist them in recognizing, reporting and controlling fire hazards aboard marine vessels and structures within a shipyard.

Fire Safety Plan
Training employees in classroom.
Figure 1. Training employees in classroom.

Fire department workers reviewing emergency escape plan.
Figure 2. Fire department workers reviewing emergency escape plan.
Evacuation Muster Area sign denoting area for workers to gather after evacuating area.
Figure 3. "Evacuation Muster Area" sign denoting area for workers to gather after evacuating area.

Muster area for workers evacuated off a vessel.
Figure 4. Muster area for workers evacuated off a vessel.

Potential Hazards:

  • Contractor and subcontractor fire safety plans are not compatible.
  • Inadequate communication.
  • Information provided is not retained.
  • All workers are not accounted for after evacuation.
  • Safety plan not properly maintained/updated.
     

Requirements and Example Solutions:

  • To ensure employee safety in the event of a fire, a written fire and safety plan must be developed and implemented. [1915.502(a)]
  • The fire safety plan must include the following: [1915.502(b)]
    • Identification of significant fire hazards.
    • Procedures for recognizing and reporting unsafe conditions.
    • Alarm procedures.
    • Procedures for notifying employees of a fire emergency.
    • Procedures for notifying fire response organizations of a fire emergency.
    • Procedures for evacuation.
    • Procedures to account for all employees after an evacuation.
    • Names, job titles, or departments of individuals who can be contacted for further information about the plan.
  • All employees must be trained on the fire safety plan. In addition, the plan must be reviewed with each employee at the following times: [1915.502(c)]
    • Upon initial assignment for new employees.
    • When the actions the employee must take under the plan change because of a change in duties or a change in the plan.
  • The employer must: [1915.502(d)]
    • Keep the fire safety plan accessible to employees, employee representatives, and OSHA.
    • Review and update the plan whenever necessary, but at least annually.
    • Document that affected employees have been informed about the plan.
    • Ensure that any outside fire response organization that the employer expects to respond to fires at the employer's worksite has been given a copy of the current plan.
  • Contract employers in shipyard employment must have a fire safety plan for their employees. This plan must be compatible with the host employer's fire safety plan. [1915.502(e) and 1915.501(d)]


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Maritime Labor/Industry Recommendations
  • Develop a generic plan for use by host employer and contractors.
  • Subcontractors or supervisors are accountable for workers during evacuations.
  • Subcontractors (visitors, vendors, vessel owners) or prime contactors need to comply with host employer's plan.
  • Facility and prime contractor should provide all subcontractors a copy of their plan(s).
  • Practice fire safety plan drills. 
  • Host and contractors review plan annually or any time there is a change. [1915.502(d)(2)]
  • Ensure that local fire department has a copy of the plan.
  • Sample Fire Safety Plans. Shipbuilders Council of America, (2006).
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