Though protection against flame, heat, and electrical arc is somewhat standardized in the majority of the world, there are still different agencies enforcing workplace standards in each country.
Safety Enforcement Agencies in North America
In the United States, OSHA does much of the workplace safety regulation enforcement. While the Department of Labor and a variety of state and federal agencies can also enforce workplace safety violations, OSHA primarily works with government officials in shaping regulations and standards.
The Canadian Standards Association and Canadian General Standards Board are responsible for creating and enforcing workplace safety and FR regulations in Canada.
Mexico’s FR regulations are much more extensive. Though regulation is typically taken care of on a regional level, federal enforcement does happen.
Shared Regulations in Canada and US
Both Canada and the U.S. recognize standards set forth by the National Fire Protection Association, and ASTM International. These include:
- NFPA 2112, Standard on Flame-Resistant Garments for Protection of Industrial Personnel Against Flash Fire
- NFPA 2113, Standard on Selection, Care, Use and Maintenance of Flame-Resistant Garments for Protection of Industrial Personnel Against Short-Duration Thermal Exposures
- NFPA 1975, Standard on Station/Work Uniforms for Emergency Services
- NFPA 70E, Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace
- ASTM F1506, Standard Performance Specification for Flame-Resistant and Arc-Rated Textile Materials for Wearing Apparel for Use by Electrical Workers Exposed to Momentary Electric Arc and Related Thermal Hazards
Collectively, these standards are designed to keep all types of workers safe from heat, flame, and electrical hazards by setting standards for protection equipment and procedures that companies must follow.
Both US and Canadian regulators often use compliance with these standards to determine fault in worker injury and fatality cases.
Canadian-specific FR Standards
In Canada, specific standards exist for protection against hydrocarbon flash fire, which specifically affects oil industry workers and anyone else working with propane- or butane-powered gear and other alkalines.
These standards are written and enforced by the major Canadian standards enforcement agencies and any company with operations in Canada should be aware of both hydrocarbon and electrical arc-specific standards.
Performing a work site assessment in either country is the easiest way to maintain a safer and more compliant workplace.
Fire safety is at its foundation universal – we’re all flammable and the ways to protect our bodies depend on the situation. Maintaining an organized and well-trained staff and facility ensure the safest possible work environment in any country.