Quincy, MA – The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has revised its standards for means of egress, concluding that NFPA’s 2000 edition of the Life Safety Code(r) provides comparable safety to OSHA’s Exit Routes Standard. The OSHA final rule, which becomes effective December 7, 2002, permits employers to comply with NFPA 101-2000 in order to meet means of egress standards.
“OSHA’s revision to the federal egress standard is a noteworthy benefit to employers and the general public,” says NFPA President James M. Shannon. “Today, more than ever, people are aware of the enormous benefits of a fast and thorough emergency building evacuation. The state-of-the art egress provisions found in the Life Safety Code make an important contribution to public safety.”
The Life Safety Code, which is used in every U.S. state and adopted statewide in 34 states, sets minimum building design, construction, operation, and maintenance requirements necessary to protect building occupants from dangers caused by fire, smoke, and toxic fumes. The Life Safety Code also provides prompt escape requirements for new and existing buildings, including healthcare occupancies.
The Life Safety Code is a key element of the Comprehensive Consensus Codes(tm) (C3) set. The C3 set offers state and local governments the first opportunity to select a full set of codes developed through ANSI-accredited processes. That set is being developed through a partnership involving NFPA, the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO), Western Fire Chiefs Association (WFCA), and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). In states that adopt key elements of the C3 set, NFPA and IAPMO will make available free training and associated codebooks to code enforcers.
For electronic copies of the final rule, log on to www.osha.gov.