Author(s): Jesse Roman. Published on October 31, 2014.

NFPA FORGES PARTNERSHIP to Protect Garment Workers in Bangladesh

NFPA and the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety have signed a memorandum of understanding designed to improve building and worker safety in the country’s garment industry.

In the four-year agreement, signed in September in Washington, D.C., NFPA will provide Alliance members, factories, workers, and other stakeholders with information, guidance, and access to training resources to help protect the health and safety of workers in garment factories in Bangladesh.

“For too many years, the [garment] industry has not taken enough measures to protect employees and prevent tragedies caused by unsafe working conditions or poor building construction,” said Ellen Tauscher, Alliance board chair and former U.S. congresswoman. “Our partnership with NFPA will ensure our member factories will be guided by best practices used around the world and the most up-to-date standards for building and fire safety.”

Members from the Alliance and NFPA will coordinate a strategy and meet at least once per year to share progress, work that will “serve as a catalyst for the government and others who work in Bangladesh to strengthen their fire safety procedures within the garment industry and beyond,” said NFPA President James Pauley.

NFPA to Create New Standard on Community Risk Reduction Plans

NFPA recently announced it will create a new standard to provide a process for communities to develop and implement a community risk reduction plan.
The plans identify risks in a community and allocate resources to mitigate those risks. The NFPA Standards Council approved a request to develop the new standard in October, and expects it to be finished within the next two years.

Risk assessment and reduction is gaining interest around the U.S. The International Association of Fire Chiefs now recognizes in its strategic planning the need for the fire service to embrace an integrated approach to community risk reduction. The concept is also being taught at the National Fire Academy and is supported by the Institution of Fire Engineers and a growing number of fire service leaders nationwide.

Several NFPA standards already make reference to community risk reduction.NFPA 1730, Organization and Deployment of Fire Prevention Inspection and Code Enforcement, Plan Review, Investigation, and Public Education Operations to the Public, requires fire prevention organizations to perform a community risk reduction plan.

Visit NFPA 1730's doc info page for more on NFPA 1730 and community risk reduction.

Wildfire Conference Proposals Sought

NFPA’s Wildland Fire Operations Division is seeking education session proposals for the 2015 Backyards & Beyond® Wildfire Education Conference, scheduled for October 22–24, 2015, in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

The conference brings together a diverse audience of community wildfire mitigation stakeholders. Conference session proposals are sought for community safety approaches and strategies; home construction and landscape design; research; technology, policy and regulations; and wildfire planning, suppression, and operations.

Proposals must be submitted online by December 15.

NFPA Offers Free Training Program on Electric/Hybrid Truck/Bus Safety

NFPA is offering a free online training course to teach firefighters to deal with incidents involving trucks, buses, and commercial vehicles powered by alternative fuels. The new course builds on NFPA’s existing electric vehicle training program, which focuses on electric and hybrid passenger vehicles.

The new online curriculum covers high-voltage vehicle and safety systems, basic electrical concepts, and identification techniques for the latest alternative fuel vehicles. The course also covers immobilization and power-down procedures, extrication challenges, practices and tactics for dealing with vehicle and battery fires, and incidents involving charging stations.

For more information, please visit the EV safety training website.

Jesse Roman is staff writer for NFPA Journal