JSA prevention for firefighters

JSA prevention for firefighters

The firefighting collective is not exempt from the so-called JSA or Job Safety Analysis. Although there is not any specific legislation in Spain, there are certain risk situations where the Spanish Law 17/2015, of July 9, from the Spanish National Civil Protection System comes into play. What does this law say about?

JSA risk situations

Firefighting is defined as a multi-risk activity. For example, the professional firefighter is constantly exposed to dangerous chemicals, especially in his fight against fire. Besides diesel smoke also affects him. The performed tasks are very demanding and therefore are exposed to skeletal muscle load factors.

Moreover, firefighters suffer from high noise decibels, result of alarms and sirens. In addition, they work in a very stressful environment. They are constantly saving lives and the work shift or night shift is also another factor to consider. They are exposed to multiple biological agents, mainly AIDS or hepatitis.

Finally, cancer stands as the invisible risk factor for firefighters because it may appear but in the long term.

What are the PPE?

In Spain, firefighter’s equipment is made up by the PPEs included in the Spanish norm RD 773/1997. It is every instrument or clothing intended to protect the worker himself from specific risk. In the case of firefighters there are different levels of risk.

Firstly, category I PPEs are used when the risk is minimum, category II PPEs when the risk is moderate – for example the boots- and category III when the risk may have mortal consequences, for example the integral helmet.

Therefore, the basic firefighting equipment is made by the firefighting suit, boots, jacket, insulating tape and fireproof gloves.

Current situation of Firefighting JSA

Nowadays, there is a certain difference in JSA compared to other Spanish State Security bodies. Diseases that come from risk factors are especially related to effects on respiratory function and auditory behavior. Stress also causes the average retirement age of a firefighter to be relatively young.

Additionally, the action framework is not the same in all the Spanish regions. Regarding health, many measures are being taken at the physical level (especially regarding the presence of toxic material), but the psychological part is being set aside.

Thus, fire departments also require an own and exclusive JSA, as it is the case for other professional sectors.