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North Carolina Chief 101

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North Carolina Chief 101

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  1. North Carolina Chief 101 Firefighter Safety, OSHA and NFPA

  2. Chief 101 • This class will satisfy the 9s inspection criteria as specified by the North Carolina Administrative Code. The primary objective of the course is to inform current and future chief officers of the various aspects and complexities surrounding the operations and organization of North Carolina fire departments.

  3. Program Objectives • Identify the requirements set forth by OSHA that pertain to volunteer, career, and combination fire departments. • Identify the requirements set forth by NFPA that pertain to volunteer, career, and combination fire departments.

  4. OSHA Duty Clause • SEC. 5 (a) Each employer - • 1) shall furnish to each of his employees 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 employee; • 2) shall comply with occupational safety and health standards promulgated under this act.

  5. OSHA Duty Clause • SEC. 5 (b) Each employee shall comply with occupational safety and health standards and all rules, regulations, and orders issued pursuant to this Act which are applicable to his own actions and conduct.


  7. OSHA Law • Contained in N.C. General Statutes G. S. 95-131

  8. N.C. G.S.95-148 • Safety and Health Programs of State Agencies and Local Governments • The North Carolina Fire and Rescue Commission shall recommend regulations and standards for fire departments. (1973, c.295, s.23; 1983, c. 164; 1985, c, 544; 1989, c. 750, s. 3; 1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 1020, s. 1.)

  9. Standards Enforcement • Purpose: “ … to insure so far as possible every working man and woman in the Nation safe and healthful working conditions and to preserve our human resources…”

  10. North Carolina is an OSHA State

  11. NCOSHA Regulations must meet or exceed Federal OSHA Regulations

  12. HISTORY • OSHA and the Fire Service • 1983 - OSHA Reform Act put in place affecting fire service. • 1983 - HB 82 Ratified exempting volunteer and certain municipal Fire Departments from the OSHA Act. • 1985 - OSHA Act amended to put paid personnel of exempt municipal fire departments under OSHA.

  13. HISTORY • OSHA and the Fire Service (Continued) • 1992 -The AG released an opinion stating volunteer departments were in most cases not exempt, since an employer/employee relationship exists. • March 1993 - Fire & Rescue Commission establishes OSHA Committee. • May 1993 - OSHA Commission suggests creation of parallel standards/OSHA concurs.

  14. HISTORY • OSHA and the Fire Service (Continued) • August 1993 - OSHA sends letter to mayors informing them of AG’s opinion. • November 1993 - AG revises previous opinion, stating compensation now key for determining coverage.

  15. HISTORY • OSHA and the Fire Service (Continued) • January 1994 - OSHA sends another letter to mayors advising of change in ruling. OSHA advises that combination department’s paid members are covered under act.

  16. National Fire Protection Association • What is NFPA? • Non-Profit Corporation • Develop consensus standards through an intricate committee process • Standards are not laws but can carry the weight of laws if adopted by enforcement agencies such as OSHA. • Website is

  17. NFPA Fire and Rescue Specific Standard OSHA General Industry Standard Parallel Standards

  18. Letter From OSHA April 2, 1996 “ the goals of our departments are merged into making the workplaces of the men and women in the fire and rescue services as safe as practical given their often dangerous duties… For our part in the Department of Labor (OSHA), we will use these documents as a guide when inspecting or providing consultation to fire and rescue services.”

  19. Defined as the level of competency anticipatedor mandated during the performanceof a service or duty STANDARD OF CARE

  20. Reasonable Man Standard

  21. Standard of Care • Last fifty years have taught us: • Potential impacts are limitless • There are options in operational approaches • Initial responders need competency • Development of a Standard of Care has occurred

  22. Standard of Care • Influenced by: • Laws • Regulations • Standards • Guidance • Knowledge • Experience

  23. Standard of Care – Haz Mat • Standard of Care for Hazardous Materials • Local government and firstresponder roles • Planning • Preparedness • Training

  24. Liability - state of being liable Liable - owing a responsibility Liability cannot be totally eliminated LIABILITY

  25. Negligence • Defined as “performance outside of theaccepted Standard of Care” • If elements of the Standard of Care are not followed, it could be considered negligence • Negligence can be by the individual, an officer, the organization, or the employer

  26. Gross Negligence • Defined as “willful failure to meet the Standard of Care” • Can be applied to individuals or organizations • Remember, ignorance of the law (Standard of Care) is no excuse • Example - Personnel not required to wear appropriate PPE • Example - Failure to train

  27. Standard of Care & Liability • Remember, that by operating withinthe Standard of Care, we asresponders will not need to worryabout legal implications

  28. Key Points • Currently, OSHA can inspect paid departments to both NFPA and OSHA. Does not increase requirements. • Will not impact status of “voluntary” standards for Volunteer Fire Departments or Volunteer Rescue Squads.

  29. Key Points • Fulfills statutory responsibility. • Allows us to develop training materials. • Allows Volunteer Fire Departments and Volunteer Rescue Squads to work toward compliance of same standard.

  30. Why Do It? • Statutory Responsibility. (G.S. 95 - 148) • Increases Safety and Awareness. • Reduces Confusion. • Allows the Development of Classes and Training Aids in Understanding Complex Standards. • Brings About Better Coordination With NFPA and OSHA.

  31. Types of Violations • De minimis • Non-serious Violation • Serious Violation • Imminent Danger