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LEGISLATIVE INTERPRETATIONS

OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY ACT

Firefighters – No wearing jewelry

Topic: Firefighters – No wearing jewelry Issued by: V.P.,WorkSafe Services
Statute: Regulation 91-191 Date Issued: August 11, 1999
Section: 51.96 Date Revised:

Question:
Can a firefighter wear a watch and/or a Medic Alert bracelet or necklace while engaged in structural firefighting?

Answer:
The jewelry ban applies only in the context of fighting fires and entering burning buildings. The Firefighters Technical Committee that recommended this provision in 1995, did so in consideration of the additional risks posed by catching decorative jewelry on a protrusion or by having it heat and burn the body.

Both watches and Medic Alert warnings are safety features. Watches are essential for monitoring oxygen and Medic Alert bracelets provide critical information should a firefighter require treatment.

Since watches and Medic Alert bracelets are not considered as decorative jewelry, they are outside the scope of 51.96 and are therefore permitted.


Referenced legislation

51.96 When engaged in structural fire-fighting, a firefighter shall not wear any jewelry.

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