Protective clothing – Wild land fire Legislative Interpretations

Topic: Protective clothing – Wild land fire Issued by: Director, Compliance and Regulatory Review
Statute: General Regulation 91-191 Date Issued: March 3, 2014
Section: 9(1)(a), 346 & 347 Date Revised: February 9, 2021

Our organization is involved in wild land fire operations. What type of protective clothing is our organization required to provide to employees involved in combating forest fires?


The type of protective clothing your organization is required to provide is dependent on the type of work carried out by your employees and the hazards to which they may be exposed. The hazards your employees are most likely to be exposed to include:

  • Slips, trips and falls;
  • Cuts, punctures and abrasions, including cuts from chainsaws, and
  • Heat, both conductive and radiant, and flames.

The regulation is silent on the type of protective clothing needed when combating wild land fire. The organization is responsible to conduct a risk assessment and provide the proper protective clothing to mitigate those risks.

If employees involved in combating forest fires could be exposed to a risk from the fire, the National Fire Protection Association has an equipment standard on the subject; NFPA 1977, “Standard on Protective Clothing and Equipment for Wildland Fire Fighting.” The standard covers:

  • Garments
  • Helmets
  • Gloves
  • Footwear
  • Face/Neck shrouds
  • Goggles and
  • Chain saw protectors.

Depending on the risk assessment(s), the organization may be required to provide protective clothing meeting the requirements of NFPA 1977 when combating wildland fires. If the risk is low or inexistent, the organization can require employees to use protective equipment required for logging and silviculture operations (sections 346 & 347 of General Regulation 91-191.)

Referenced Legislation

Occupational Health and Safety Act

9(1) Every employer shall

(a) take every reasonable precaution to ensure the health and safety of his employees;

General Regulation 91-191

346 An employer shall, in addition to complying with the appropriate requirements for protective equipment under Part VII, ensure that an employee who operates a chain saw wears

(a) safety footwear that meets the requirements of CSA standard CSA Z195:14 (reaffirmed 2019), “Protective Footwear” or a standard offering equivalent protection, has chain saw protection on the top and sides and has non-slip soles, and

(b) leg protection that

(i) is of the appropriate size to protect the knee and leg from the top of the safety footwear to the groin, and

(ii) is made of a minimum of three ply 2108 nylon or a material affording equivalent protection, secured in a manner that allows the leg protection to perform its function.

347 An employee shall, in addition to complying with the appropriate requirements for protective equipment under Part VII, wear the protective equipment required in section 346.

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