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Fire Extinguisher Safety
Fire extinguishers are one of those things, like a first aid kit, that must be on a jobsite but you hope will never have to be used. Unlike a first aid kit, multiple extinguishers are required on a jobsite. How many is enough and where they should be located is a frequent question people ask. OSHA says that a 2A rated extinguisher must be provided for every 3000 SF of area, and travel distance by a worker to reach the nearest one cannot exceed 100’. There needs to be one on each floor of a multi-story building, and if it’s the only one on the floor it must be located adjacent to a stairway. Portable fire extinguishers must be inspected and maintained per NFPA’s 10A-2018 (monthly inspections must be made and verified by a tag on the extinguisher where the inspector puts the month, year and initials). Annual maintenance must occur for all fire extinguishers and be verified by a tag or label that shows the month and year, the name of the person who performed the maintenance, as well as the name of the company he/she works for.

In addition, an extinguisher that is rated not less than 10B must be provided within 50’ of wherever more than 5 gallons of flammable or combustible liquids or 5 pounds of flammable gas are being used.

For example this would mean that when a portable generator is used and a 5 gallon gas can is nearby, a fire extinguisher must be within 50’. For reference, this is 20 steps away. This also applies when using an acetylene cutting torch.

Fire extinguisher sizes are based on water equivalency. 2A means that there is enough extinguishing agent to equal 2.5 gals of water. The “B” indicates the extinguisher will put out flammable liquids. An “A” means it will put out ordinary fires including wood, cloth, paper and plastic. A “C” rating means it can be used on electrical fires. Construction sites should use the ABC type of extinguisher in order to cover all of the above fire situations.

OSHA citations can be written for failure to monthly inspect and yearly maintain fire extinguishers.
What OSHA is Saying
Recently contractors in Iowa have been cited for not properly filling out their 300 form. Be mindful of column E, F, as well as where Days Away from Work or Restricted Work are recorded. For example, if a worker receives a laceration on his/her arm, column E requires the jobsite name and a brief description of where on the site it occurred. Column F requires a description that is more than “cut on arm”. Was it upper or lower arm? Was it the left or right arm? What caused the laceration, a knife, a piece of sheet metal? Did it require stitches or did glue do the job?

Just as important is recording whether or not the injury or illness kept the employee from returning to work the next day. This is where doctor’s notes come in to play. If the employee doesn’t return because he or she doesn’t want to, days are not recorded for this. A physician must determine if the employee can or can’t work. Keep in mind the 300 log must be updated every 30 days as necessary. Questions? Our CSSI safety professionals will gladly help you navigate the 300 form.  

Brandon Black - (515) 577-5198 or  Brandon@IowaCSSI.com  
Tom Suckow - (515) 250-0773 or  Tom@IowaCSSI.com

New WORKSAFE Projects:
PROJECT:  WDMCSD - Vestibule Renovations - Crestview
CONTRACTOR: Dean Snyder Construction - Ankeny, IA

PROJECT:  Currier Residence Hall - Renovate MPR, Study & Reception Area
CONTRACTOR:  McComas-Lacina Construction Co. LC - Iowa City, IA

PROJECT:  Crestwood Ridge Common Bond
CONTRACTOR:  Knutson Construction Services, Inc. - Iowa City, IA

PROJECT:  Barton-Lyon Freeman Roof Replacements
CONTRACTOR:  Schwickert's Tecta America - Mankato, MN

PROJECT:  A-5 Capitol Complex - Window Work
CONTRACTOR:  Renaissance Restoration, Inc. - Galena, IL

PROJECT:  Helena Industries
CONTRACTOR:  The Hansen Company, Inc. - Johnston, IA
CONTRACTOR: Koester Construction Co., Inc. - Grimes, IA

GOLD PROJECT:  Graham Broadway Warehouse II
CONTRACTOR:  Graham Construction Co. - Des Moines, IA

PROJECT:  Utilities Distribution System Sump Pump & Ventilation Improvements to Arts Campus Tunnels
CONTRACTOR:  Carl A. Nelson & Company - Burlington, IA

PROJECT:  WDMCSD - Vestibule Renovations - Crossroads Park
CONTRACTOR: Dean Snyder Construction - Ankeny, IA

PROJECT:  Horace Mann Elementary
CONTRACTOR:  City Construction - Iowa City, IA

PROJECT:  Greater Regional Medical Center - Mt Ayr Rural Health Clinic
CONTRACTOR:  Graham Construction Co. - Des Moines, IA
PROJECT:  Methodist Jennie Edmondson - Parking Lot Expansion
CONTRACTOR:  Graham Construction Co. - Des Moines, IA

PROJECT:  UIHC - Roy Carver Inpatient Psychiatry Expansion & Renovation Demolition
CONTRACTOR:  Wolfe Contracting Inc. - Muscatine, IA

PROJECT:  DSM VA Construct Parking Structure
CONTRACTOR:  Covenant Construction Services - Clive, IA

PROJECT:  Osage Community Schools
CONTRACTOR:  Dean Snyder Construction - Clear Lake, IA

PROJECT:  Dr. Percy & Lileah Harris Building
CONTRACTOR:  Rinderknecht Associates, Inc. - Cedar Rapids, IA
WORKSAFE is a partnership between Master Builders of Iowa and Iowa OSHA, with safety services provided by Construction Safety Specialists, Inc. For more information on the WORKSAFE program or for safety inquiries, please contact Tom Suckow at 515-657-4384 or  Tom@IowaCSSI.com

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