OSHA’s Emergency Response Rulemaking – Next Step

Posted & filed under News.



OSHA is moving forward with their proposed Emergency Response standard, which would incorporate a number of NFPA standards. Some of you will recall that this project commenced under the Obama administration and then was put on hold during the Trump administration. The NVFC was involved in developing the draft standard. The NVFC submitted comments to OSHA back in 2016 on the draft standard (see attached  “NVFC NACOSH comments” document) expressing concerns about the potential cost of implementation on smaller fire and EMS agencies. Those comments are the closest thing to a formal NVFC position on this.

The next step in the regulatory process is for OSHA, working with the U.S. Small Business Administration, to convene a panel of “Small Entity Representatives” (SERs), which includes any potentially impacted entity serving a population of 50,000 or fewer residents. The attached “Emergency Response SBREFA fact sheet” document provides good information about what is expected of SERs, and here is a note from SBA on how they expect that process to play out:

“As a matter of clarification about the timing of the Emergency Response SBREFA panel and what is asked of the small entity representatives (SERs), OSHA anticipates sending the background materials to SERs next week and they will be made publicly available at that time.  OSHA anticipates formally convening the panel on October 4, 2021 and the first of several video conference calls will likely begin on or about Thursday, October 14, 2021.  We will circulate the dates and times of the calls shortly.  The SERs are asked to review the background materials and participate in a single conference call to provide their advice and recommendations about the possible rule to the panel.  The video conferences lasts about 3-4 hours.”

The draft regulation that has been developed is being presented for review and discussion by the small entity representatives (SER). The SERs will participate in teleconferences to discuss how the potential regulation would affect their business/organization. The public will have the opportunity to listen to the teleconferences and submit written comments to the docket. More information is available at the following websites: