While not that common, fires can and do occur at printing operations. In some instances, they are minor and in others they can be quite devastating. Because fires can cause significant property and equipment damage and threaten human health, OSHA has some very extensive requirements designed to prevent as much as possible the common causes of fires in
When building an effective, compliant fire prevention plan, there are several key regulatory programs that need to be addressed: emergency action and fire prevention plan, the safe storage of flammable materials, use of fire extinguishers, and emergency exits. You should also be aware of your local fire safety code and requirements.
Emergency Action and Fire Prevention Plan
All companies are required to have an Emergency Action Plan and a Fire Prevention Plan that is specific to their facility. Additionally, you must train your employees. An Emergency Action and Fire Prevention Plan is a comprehensive plan that meets or exceeds local, state, and federal regulations to keep employees safe and healthy in the workplace. There are many specific components that a complete plan should include such as procedures for emergency evacuation and performing rescue or medical duties.
Employers with fewer than 10 employees must still have a plan in place and provide training. However, they do not have to develop a written program. Even if you fall within this category, we encourage you to use our template to ensure that your verbal plan covers all the bases.
Management and Storage of Flammable Substances
Printing facilities use flammable materials. The key to fire prevention is the proper management and storage of flammable substances. Certain gases, liquids, and solids can be flammable. Employers must be aware of the types of materials that are present in the workplace and the hazards of these materials. There are also very specific requirements for the safe storage of flammable substances.
Know your fire extinguishers! Part of your Fire Prevention Plan includes understanding the types of fires that can occur at your facility so that you can have the properly rated extinguisher. Using the wrong fire extinguishers could make certain classes of fires worse! You must also designate who in the workplace is authorized to use a fire extinguisher in case of emergency and train those individuals.
In case of emergency, it is important to properly maintain the emergency exits in a workplace. Emergency exits must be clearly identified with signage that is visible across the workplace. Exit routes must be well lit and clear of obstructions so that they may be accessed easily and safely in any circumstance. Emergency exits must be regularly inspected to ensure these requirements are met.