In 1980, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (O.S.H.A) established September 15, 1990, as the date in which all fire departments in the United States must have a health screening and fitness program. This regulation is 1910.156, subpart L, Appendix A. The only departments exempt are Airport Crash Teams and the Forestry Service.
This regulation is not specific as to what type of health screening or fitness program should be initiated. However, the regulation does state that “employers shall assure that employees who are expected to do intense structural fire fighting are physically capable of performing duties which may be assigned.” This regulation also states, “the employer shall not permit employees with known heart disease, epilepsy, or emphysema to participate in fire brigade emergency activities unless a physician’s certificate is provided.”
In accordance with these regulations, accompanied by the Department of Liability associated with the implementation of a fitness program, the selection of the appropriate contractor to provide these services is very significant.
A comprehensive health program should include:
A blood panel which includes total cholesterol with a breakdown of high, low and very low density cholesterol. The panel should also include triglycerides, bone minerals, electrolytes, heart and liver enzymes, protein breakdown, kidney, glucose, uric acid, iron and hematology.
A pulmonary function test to determine if there are any obstructions or restrictions to limit an individual taking in or expelling air.
A resting electrocardiogram (E.C.G or E.K.G) and a submaximal graded test (GXT) to assess functional capacity and determine, if any contraindications existing for exercise and work related activities.
The above tests and test results are reviewed and an individual exercise prescription (program) is written for each participant. If any abnormalities are noted, the individual is referred to his/her physician or the organization’s occupational nurse for review.
Anthropometric and skinfold measurements to assess a percentage of body fat for each individual.
North Greenville Fitness complies with the following OSHA regulations:
1910.156 Fire Brigades
Application. The requirements of this section apply to fire brigades, industrial fire departments, and private or contractual type fire departments. The requirements of this section do not apply to airport crash rescue or forest fire fighting operations.
Personnel. The employer SHALL assure that employees who are expected to do interior structural fire fighting are physically capable of performing duties which may be assigned to them during emergencies. The employer shall not permit employees with known heart disease, epilepsy or emphysema, to participate in fire brigade emergency activities unless a physician's certificate of the employee's fitness to participate in such activities is provided.
1910.134 Respiratory Protection
The employer SHALL provide a medical evaluation to determine the employee's ability to use a respirator, before the employee is fit-tested or required to use the respirator in the workplace. The employer may discontinue an employee's medical evaluations when the employee is no longer required to use a respirator.
1910.120 Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response
Employers SHALL develop and implement a written safety and health program for their employees involved in hazardous waste operation. The program shall be designed to identify, evaluate, and control safety and health hazards, and provide for emergency response for hazardous waste operations.