OSHA Proposes Emergency Response Rule for Firefighters and Emergency Responders

On February 5, 2024, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) proposed a new rule to update existing regulations for the safety and health of firefighters and other emergency responders.

  • OSHA’s proposed rule would replace OSHA’s existing Fire Brigades standard at 29 CFR 1910.156 (originally promulgated in 1980) and cover a broader set of present-day emergency responders beyond firefighters.
  • The proposed rule would require written emergency response plans, hazard vulnerability assessments, training, personal protective equipment, medical screening and behavioral health services, and other requirements.
  • The focus of the proposed rule is to provide workplace protections for workers who respond to emergencies as part of their regularly assigned duties and would expand the scope of protected workers to include emergency medical service and technical search and rescue.
  • The proposed rule was the subject of a Small Business Advocacy Review panel in 2021 (see the Emergency Response SBREFA on OSHA.gov).

Comments on OSHA’s proposed Emergency Response rule are due by May 6, 2024.

Read the Federal Register Notice on the Emergency Response Standard and file comments at regulations.gov (Docket No. OSHA-2007-0073).

Advocacy contact: Send an email to Bruce Lundegren, Assistant Chief Counsel, at bruce.lundegren@sba.gov or call 202-205-6144.