State of Illinois

01/15/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 01/15/2021 11:34

Illinois Department of Labor Provides New Safety Resources for Fire Service Employees

SPRINGFIELD - Firefighting is a dangerous profession that requires well-serviced equipment, safety protocols and regular, ongoing training. To assure these safety standards are being met, the Illinois Department of Labor's Illinois OSHA regularly inspects public fire departments across the state.

Now Illinois OSHA has compiled a comprehensive safety and health compliance guide as well 'OSHA 101 for Fire Departments' videos to provide guidance and take the mystery out of Illinois OSHA inspections.

'Our fire service first responders work in some of the most dangerous conditions. We have developed these training materials to both educate them on OSHA standards and to protect these essential workers,' said IDOL Director Michael Kleinik.

The 88-page Occupational Safety and Health Compliance Guide for Fire Departments is the most comprehensive assistance resource Illinois OSHA has ever developed for the Illinois fire service. It is available here: https://www2.illinois.gov/idol/Laws-Rules/safety/SiteAssets/Pages/IL-OSHA-FactSheets-Publications/IL-OSHA%20Compliance%20Guide%20for%20Fire%20Departments%20V1637400275761453796.pdf

A three-part series of video lessons dubbed IL OSHA 101 for Fire Departments is also available on IDOL's YouTube channel at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUyfZrT33dHM_RDXnkZc6rw

The informative videos, produced by Illinois OSHA Downstate Regional Enforcement Manager Erik Kambarian, familiarize viewers with IDOL and Illinois OSHA, provide a primer on the inspection process and an overview of compliance basics.

'The ultimate goal of Illinois OSHA is to ensure that public employees, like firefighters, finish their shifts safely and finish their careers healthy,' said Kambarian. 'It is the hope of Illinois OSHA that these resources lead to greater fire department compliance with occupational safety and health standards and that leads to a safer and healthier Illinois fire service.'

The Illinois State Fire Marshal's office and the Illinois Fire Service Institute welcomed and encouraged the use of the new materials by fire departments and fire protection districts across the state.

'IDOL has consistently worked with the OSFM and the State Fire Academy at the Illinois Fire Service Institute to coordinate minimum training and safety requirements for firefighters in Illinois. We welcome and appreciate IDOL's efforts to ensure safe conditions for our firefighters,' said Illinois State Fire Marshal Matt Perez.

Royal Mortenson, director of the Illinois Fire Service Institute added, 'Firefighting is an inherently dangerous profession due to the difficult and demanding operating environments faced daily by first responders. Whether it is a fire scene, automobile crash, hazardous material spill, medical response, or another type of hazardous rescue event, the world of the firefighter is difficult and potentially life-threatening. The Occupational Safety and Health Compliance Guide for Fire Departments is an excellent resource for fire departments and fire department leadership as they work to mitigate the risk firefighters face in their complex day-to-day environment.'