IAFF supports OSHA’s proposed update to emergency response standards

April 15, 2024

IAFF endorses proposed changes to fire fighter safety standards

The International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) has expressed its support for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) proposed updates to safety standards for fire fighters and other emergency personnel.

These changes represent the first significant revision in over forty years and aim to enhance the overall safety in emergency response operations.

Key updates in OSHA’s proposal

The proposed standard, set to replace the Fire Brigades Standard established in 1980, introduces comprehensive updates across various dimensions of emergency response.

These include enhancements in staffing, training protocols, apparatus readiness, and the provision of protective clothing and equipment.

Additionally, the new standard will require employers to conduct baseline medical screenings and provide access to behavioral health resources for all emergency responders.

IAFF’s response and advocacy

In a statement to affiliate leaders, General President Edward Kelly said that the impact of the proposed changes, which the IAFF has lobbied for: “Have the potential to reshape fire fighter safety and save the lives of IAFF members by officially acknowledging basic industry standards.”

Kelly further remarked on the inherent dangers of fire fighting and the importance of the updates: “Our job will never stop being dangerous, but there are steps we can take to make it safer.

This update is long overdue, and the Biden Administration agrees.”

Commitment to safety and policy influence

The IAFF is leveraging this opportunity to ensure that the voices of fire fighters are heard during the public comment period, which remains open until June 21, 2024.

Kelly reinforced the IAFF’s commitment to safeguarding fire fighter jobs and their safety: “Let me be clear, our IAFF will never support a policy that jeopardizes fire fighters’ jobs.

“Every day, the IAFF fights to make our jobs as safe and dignified as possible, and we will fight to ensure this proposal is a floor for our safety and nothing more.”

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