Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for New OSHA Emergency Response Standard

On February 5, 2024, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for a new safety and health standard titled “Emergency Response,” intended to replace the existing Fire Brigade Standard. The proposed standard would address a broader range of emergency responders and include programmatic elements to protect them from various occupational hazards. Citing past incidents, the proposed rule points to the need to expand the standard to include a broad range of hazards emergency responders encounter and to align the standard with the current industry consensus standards.   The proposed rule emphasizes a performance-based approach, allowing for flexibility in achieving safety outcomes, and includes a preliminary economic analysis highlighting the benefits and costs associated with compliance.

The proposed rule outlines specific PPE-related national consensus standards that Workplace Emergency Response Employers (WEREs) and Emergency Service Organizations (ESOs) would need to comply with, including the various National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards for protective ensembles. The new Emergency Response standard would aim to ensure that emergency responders are adequately protected across a broad range of emergency situations, improving safety outcomes by aligning with industry best practices and current technological standards.   OSHA is seeking comments on the NPRM (including requests for a hearing) through May 6, 2024.

The full article, including instructions for submitting comments, can be found in the Federal Register.

If you would like to discuss how these rules may affect your situation, please feel free to contact John West via email at or via telephone at (614) 526-2040.