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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 http://www.osha.gov.
January 6, 1992
Mr. Vernell Burris
727 North Lincoln Boulevard
Post Office Box 324
Contralia, Illinois 62801-0324
Dear Mr. Burris:
Thank you for your letter of December 11, 1991 requesting copies of Occupational Safety and Health Administrative (OSHA) laws and regulations and specific information on fire protection in the workplace.
Please find enclosed a copy of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) and a copy of 29 CFR 1910 Subpart L, fire protection standards for general industry. Also enclosed is the 1991, OSHA 2056 publication, "All About OSHA" which provides guidelines, on page 5, on how to obtain other OSHA standards you may need to determine employer requirements. As required by section 5(a)(1) of the OSH Act, the employer shall furnish to each of his employees, employment, and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his or her employees. The enclosed 1991, OSHA 2201 publication, "General Industry Digest" was compiled to aid employers, supervisors and safety personnel in their efforts towards achieving voluntary compliance with OSHA standards in the workplace.
In your letter you requested a listing of what (fire protection) items must be maintained in the work area and place of employment. There is no specific listing for the following reasons. Protection requirements may vary considerably from one workplace to another which has different fire hazards. Usually, an employer can implement any one of several fire protection options to comply with OSHA standards, for example, those on portable fire extinguishers at 29 CFR 1910.157. Also, in your letter you requested a fire escape plan and an inspection check list. Both the fire escape plan and the inspection check list on fire protection must be developed in consideration of the fire hazards and the fire protection provided in the workplace. As noted in the "All About OSHA" publication, training programs and consultation services are available to the employer. The consultation services are delineated in the 1991, OSHA 3047 publication entitled "Consultation Services for the Employer" which also is enclosed.
We appreciate your interest in employee safety and health. For follow-up assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Gerard F. Scannell