OSHA has announced its proposal to overhaul and expand protections for emergency responders. The proposed “Emergency Response” standard will issue in early 2024 and will replace the current “Fire Brigades” standard, as OSHA contends that the current regulations are fragmented and insufficient for today’s emergency situations.

This new standard will include major changes to PPE and medical testing requirements. Notably, the proposed rule will require employers to obtain baseline medical screening for all emergency responders and ensure continued medical surveillance for responders when they are exposed to the byproducts of fires and/or explosions repeatedly. The standard will apply to workers primarily engaged in emergency response and those with emergency duties in addition to their regular jobs, and will increase the administrative burdens on their employers.

Subscribe to OSHA Insights to get the latest updates on this rule change and other OSHA news sent straight to your inbox.