OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. To keep apprised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website at https://www.osha.gov.

January 28, 1983

Mr. Gary L. Wilson
Safety/Security Manager
The Hawkes Hospital of Mt. Carmel
6001 East Broad Street
Columbus, Ohio 43213

Dear Mr. Wilson:

This is in response to your letter of January 17, 1983, requesting a clarification of our Fire Protection, [Exit Routes], and Hazardous Material Standards.

29 CFR 1910.157(g)(1) requires "where the employer has provided portable fire extinguishers for employee use in the workplace, the employer shall also provide an educational program to familiarize employees with the general principles of fire extinguisher use and the hazards involved with incipient stage fire fighting." Hands on experience using actual fires in a controlled environment is not required in your particular case.

The employee emergency plan and fire prevention plans in 29 CFR [1910.38(e)] requires training for persons designated to assist in the safe and orderly emergency evacuation of employees. Evacuation techniques could be included as part of this training.

If I may be of further assistance, please feel free to contact me.


John K. Barto, Chief
Division of Occupational Safety Programming

[Corrected 2/6/2004]