Saftey Officer – Article Example

What the Safety Officers Need to Know. Introduction National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is a U.S based trade association that is concerned with creation and maintenance of codes and regulations used by firefighters in U.S and abroad. Specifically, the NFPA codes 1500 and 1521 have laid down specific requirements for safety officers. A safety officer is concerned with overall safety and health of workers in a department, or in the case of an incident safety officer, the officer takes charge only during specific incidences (Foley & National Fire Protection Association, 2003, P 95)
There are five areas of concern in which a safety officer should be knowledgeable. The first one is the building and Construction industry. A safety officer needs to have clear understanding of building and construction industry specifically in indicators and signs of structural collapse, truss construction, live and dead loads and the impact that fire has on the structures. This is very important especially in evacuation of injured people in a building that is on fire. The second thing that a safety officer should be aware of is Emergency Medical Services (EMS) procedures. He should have knowledge in handling such EMS services as fatigue, heat exhaustion, stress, frostbite, triage, dehydration and the needs of EMS crews. Safety officers should also be aware of Rehabilitation profiles. Each safety officer is required to learn rehabilitation procedures including rest, rehydration, active cooling if needed, life support, food if needed and protection from extreme conditions. The officer should also know the requirements of the rehabilitation crew and impact of rehabilitation on operations. In addition, a safety officer should be well versed in accountability procedures, including the use of PASS devices, uniformity of use between crew, movement between various sectors during an incident and crisis management (Foley & National Fire Protection Association, 2003, P 37).
Other areas that a safety officer should be aware of include the Incident Command system (ICS) and liaison techniques. ICS is very important as it guides him on how to consult and advise crew during an incident. He/she should have proper knowledge of the sector and should participate in the planning process (Foley & National Fire Protection Association, 2003, P 38). Liaison techniques on the other hand enable a safety officer to have a clear understanding of possible participation of outside agencies and how to relate with them, including oversight aid companies and how to handle conflicting values during an incident. Armed with all this knowledge a safety officer should be able to discharge his duties effectively.
Foley, S.N. & National Fire Protection Association. (2003). Resource for Fire
Department Occupational Safety and Health. New York, Jones & Bartlett Learning