California Professional Firefighters

CPF Testimony Supported Exemption from High-Visibility Safety Vests

Cal/OSHA this week issued further documentation supporting the California code which exempts firefighters from wearing high-visibility safety vests at emergency scenes on public roadways.

The paperwork includes testimony from California Professional Firefighters. CPF argued that the use of high visibility equipment should not apply to firefighters, who must wear personal protective equipment (PPE) as part of their safety regulations. CPF also argued for language in the proposal that would define "employee" as a construction employee only, ensuring that firefighters would be exempt from the rule.

As a result of CPF testimony, Cal/OSHA Standards Board stated the intent of the proposed rule was to apply to construction workers, not fire fighters or emergency medical personnel. This statement of intent from the Cal/OSHA Standards Board provides a broader exemption to firefighters than the Fed/OSHA interim final rule, which was issued in November 2008, which exempt firefighters from wearing high visibility vests when directly exposed to flame, fire and/or hazardous materials.

For more information on the rule making process related to this standard, visit http://www.dir.ca.gov/oshsb/hva0.html.