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.

JULY 2, 1991

Mr. J. Kevin Healy
Teitelbaum, Hiller, Rodman
Paden & Hibsher, P.C.
Attorneys At Law
260 Madison Avenue
New York, New York 10016

Dear Mr. Healy:

This is in response to your letter of May 6, in which you requested advice from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) on whether a fire actually must be started and extinguished by designated employees as part of their "hands- on practice" training under "simulated emergency conditions", found in our 29 CFR 1910.155(c)(41) and Appendix A, of Subpart L, respectively, of the regulations.

OSHA does not require that fires actually must be started and extinguished to simulate emergency fire conditions during employee training. "Hands-on" training does not necessarily mean "live fire" demonstration. However, when conducted, live-fire demonstrations should be conducted under qualified supervision at a facility appropriate for the purpose. Additionally, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), or the local authority having jurisdiction should be consulted with regard to regulations governing open burning.

As a minimum, hands-on training should include the actual discharging of fire extinguishers appropriate for the type of fires expected, unracking of standpipe hoses, and test-sounding of fire alarm boxes.

If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact James C. Dillard, of my staff, at (202) 523-8041.


Patricia K. Clark, Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs

M/R Glenn Gardner, Directorate of Safety Standards Program