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LEGISLATIVE INTERPRETATIONS

OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY ACT

Firefighting – Protective clothing for grass fires & car accidents

Topic: Firefighting – Protective clothing for grass fires & car accidents Issued by: V.P.,WorkSafe Services
Statute: Regulation 91-191 Date Issued: June 10, 1999
Section: 51.5 Date Revised:

Question:
Do firefighters fighting grass fires or responding to car accidents have to wear bunker suits?

Answer:
The requirement for bunker suits relates only to structural firefighting, which does not include grass fires. Therefore, New Brunswick fire departments may wear Nomex coveralls (the same as those worn by the Department of Natural Resources and Energy for fighting forest fires and that meet CAN/CGSB 155.22-97) when fighting forest, brush or grass fires. Other appropriate protective equipment such as gloves, eyewear, boots and headwear must also be worn.

When responding to a vehicular accident where there is a potential for a fire, firefighters should be prepared to engage in structural firefighting by wearing their bunker suits, which will also better protect them from the hazards of an explosion.

Referenced legislation

"structural firefighting" means the activities of rescue, fire suppression and conservation of property from fires involving buildings, structures, vehicles, vessels, aircraft or other large objects;

51.5 When engaged in structural firefighting, a firefighter shall wear a protective coat and trousers that

(a) meet or exceed NFPA 1971, “Standard on Protective Clothing for Structural Fire Fighting”, 1991 edition or CGSB standard CAN155.1- M88 (as amended Nov.90). “Fire Fighter’s Protective Clothing for Protection Against Heat and Flame”, and

(b) fit properly in sleeve length, coat length, chest girth, waist girth, trouser inseam length and crotch rise so as to minimize inefficient operations and unsafe situations resulting from the interference of one piece of clothing or equipment with another.

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