senate Bill S7677

Signed by Governor

Requires employers to provide emergency escape systems to firefighters

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Sponsor

Co-Sponsors

Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed by Governor
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actions

  • 13 / Jun / 2012
    • REFERRED TO RULES
  • 18 / Jun / 2012
    • ORDERED TO THIRD READING CAL.1297
  • 18 / Jun / 2012
    • PASSED SENATE
  • 18 / Jun / 2012
    • DELIVERED TO ASSEMBLY
  • 18 / Jun / 2012
    • REFERRED TO LABOR
  • 21 / Jun / 2012
    • SUBSTITUTED FOR A10677
  • 21 / Jun / 2012
    • ORDERED TO THIRD READING RULES CAL.572
  • 21 / Jun / 2012
    • PASSED ASSEMBLY
  • 21 / Jun / 2012
    • RETURNED TO SENATE
  • 20 / Jul / 2012
    • DELIVERED TO GOVERNOR
  • 01 / Aug / 2012
    • SIGNED CHAP.360

Summary

Requires employers to provide emergency escape systems to firefighters.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A10677
Versions:
S7677
Legislative Cycle:
2011-2012
Law Section:
Labor Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยง27-a, Lab L

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S7677

TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the labor law, in relation to requiring employers to
provide emergency escape systems to firefighters

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
This legislation would require employers to provide emergency escape
systems to firefighters.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section 1 states that any employer except a city with one million or
more people who employs a firefighter determined to be at risk of
entrapment at elevations shall provide emergency escape systems for use
by such firefighter.

Further requires the commissioner to identify whether firefighters
employed by a municipality would be exposed to the entrapment at
elevated levels, identify those firefighters who would be exposed, and
to determine the appropriate emergency escape systems.

Further this section ensures that firefighters emergency escape systems
are continuously inspected and in proper shape.

Section 2 is the effective date.

JUSTIFICATION:
On January 23, 2005, six (6) New York City Firefighters were caught on
the fourth floor of a burning building in the Bronx. The firefighters,
however, were not equipped with proper emergency escape components. All
six (6) men were forced to jump from the building, resulting in serious
injury to four (4) and the death of two (2). This incident has become
commonly referred to as "Black Sunday" in the firefighting community.
In response to the Black Sunday incident, the Legislature eventually
enacted Chapter 433 of the Laws of 2008 ("Chapter 433"), which required,
among other things, that the commissioner of the Department of Labor
(the "Commissioner") to promulgate regulations to adopt the codes, stan-
dards, and recommended practices promulgated by the "most recent"
edition (i.e., the 2006 edition) of the National Fire Protection Associ-
ation ("NFPA") 1983 Standard on Fire Service Life Safety Rope And System
Components. NFPA standards, however, are continually changing in order
to maintain pace with advancements in technology. By restricting the
Commissioner to the 2006 edition of the NFPA 1983 Standard, Chapter 433
has, in effect, hampered the Commissioner's ability to effectively
respond to changes in technology, which could have the unintended effect
of putting firefighters' lives at risk. In addition, firefighters carry
certain standard equipment, which may be used during a self rescue
escape, that may not be covered by the NFPA 1983 Standard. For example,
it is an accepted practice for a firefighter to carry a Halligan bar
(also called a Halligan tool) into a building. To be sure, in most fire
companies, firefighters do not enter a building without one. One of the

many accepted uses for the Halligan bar is for a firefighter to use it
during a self rescue escape - i.e., the exact situation covered by Chap-
ter 433. It is an accepted practice (and one that is taught during
training) for a firefighter who faces a self rescue/escape situation to
jam or wedge his Halligan bar into a wall or a corner as an anchor
point, tie off his rope to it and proceed to extract himself out a
window. The problem, however, is that a Halligan bar is currently not
covered by the NFPA 1983. In effect what Chapter 433 has inadvertently
done is to prevent the firefighting community to use equipment generally
recognized as acceptable because it is not covered by the NFPA 1983
Standard on Fire Service Life Safety Rope And System Components. This
Bill will provide the firefighting community with the latitude to effec-
tively respond to the needs of their locality, to consider appropriate
alternatives and to provide communities with the flexibility to equip
their firefighters with equipment that best suits their unique needs.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
New Bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
None to the state

EFFECTIVE DATE:
This act shall take effect in 30 days.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  7677

                            I N  S E N A T E

                              June 13, 2012
                               ___________

Introduced  by Sens. GRISANTI, MARTINS, ZELDIN -- read twice and ordered
  printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Rules

AN ACT to amend the labor law, in relation  to  requiring  employers  to
  provide emergency escape systems to firefighters

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. Paragraph c of subdivision 4 of section 27-a of  the  labor
law,  as  amended by chapter 433 of the laws of 2007, is amended to read
as follows:
  c. Except for an employer located in a city with a population of  over
one  million, any employer who employs a firefighter DETERMINED TO BE AT
RISK OF ENTRAPMENT AT ELEVATIONS PURSUANT TO REGULATIONS PROMULGATED  BY
THE  COMMISSIONER,  shall  provide  [safety ropes and system components]
EMERGENCY ESCAPE SYSTEMS for use by such firefighter.  The  commissioner
shall  by  rule  [adopt]  IDENTIFY  the codes, standards and recommended
practices [promulgated by the most recent edition] of THE National  Fire
Protection  Association [1983, Standard on Fire Service Life Safety Rope
and System Components, and] AND OTHER APPROPRIATE STANDARDS APPROVED  BY
THE  COMMISSIONER  as are appropriate to the nature of the risk to which
the firefighter shall be exposed AND SHALL, AT  A  MINIMUM,  INCLUDE  IN
SUCH  RULE  LANGUAGE  REQUIRING  EMPLOYERS TO (1) IDENTIFY WHETHER FIRE-
FIGHTERS EMPLOYED BY THEM WOULD BE EXPOSED TO THE HAZARD  OF  ENTRAPMENT
AT  ELEVATED  SURFACES;  (2)  IDENTIFY  THOSE  FIREFIGHTERS WHO WOULD BE
EXPOSED TO THE HAZARD;  AND  (3)  DETERMINE  THE  APPROPRIATE  EMERGENCY
ESCAPE  SYSTEMS  TO  ADDRESS THE HAZARD.   Such [safety ropes and system
components] EMERGENCY ESCAPE SYSTEMS shall be adequate  to  protect  the
health and safety of the firefighter. The employer shall ensure that the
firefighter  is  instructed  in  the proper use of the [safety ropes and
system components] EMERGENCY ESCAPE SYSTEMS.  AS USED IN  THIS  SUBDIVI-
SION, THE TERM "ENTRAPMENT AT ELEVATIONS" SHALL MEAN A SITUATION WHERE A
FIRE OR OTHER EMERGENCY CONDITIONS REQUIRE A FIREFIGHTER INSIDE A STRUC-
TURE  TO  IMMEDIATELY  EXIT THE STRUCTURE BUT WHERE SUCH CONDITIONS MAKE
THE NORMAL ROUTE OF EXIT UNUSABLE, THEREBY REQUIRING THE FIREFIGHTER  TO
EXIT  THE  STRUCTURE FROM AN OPENING THAT IS NOT DESIGNED AS AN EXIT AND

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD16238-02-2

S. 7677                             2

IS ABOVE THE GROUND FLOOR OR  AT  AN  ELEVATION  ABOVE  THE  SURROUNDING
TERRAIN  THAT  WOULD  REASONABLY  BE EXPECTED TO CAUSE INJURY TO A FIRE-
FIGHTER EXITING BY MEANS OF THIS OPENING WITHOUT  ANY  EMERGENCY  ESCAPE
SYSTEMS. AS USED IN THIS SUBDIVISION, THE TERM "EMERGENCY ESCAPE SYSTEM"
SHALL  MEAN SAFETY ROPES AND SYSTEM COMPONENTS AND ANY OTHER SYSTEM THAT
(1) IS COMPLIANT WITH THE CODES, STANDARDS AND RECOMMENDED PRACTICES  OF
THE  NATIONAL  FIRE PROTECTION ASSOCIATION OR OTHER APPROPRIATE STANDARD
IDENTIFIED BY THE COMMISSIONER THROUGH REGULATION, AS A MEANS  OF  EMER-
GENCY  SELF-RESCUE  FROM  AN ABOVE GRADE, IMMEDIATELY HAZARDOUS ENVIRON-
MENT, (2) HAS BEEN CERTIFIED BY A NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED  SAFETY  TESTING
AND  CERTIFICATION ORGANIZATION, AND (3) THE COMMISSIONER HAS RECOGNIZED
THROUGH REGULATION.
  In order to ensure the adequacy of the [safety ropes and system compo-
nents] EMERGENCY ESCAPE SYSTEMS, the employer must routinely inspect and
ensure that:
  (1) Existing [safety ropes and  system  components]  EMERGENCY  ESCAPE
SYSTEMS  meet  the codes, standards and recommended practices adopted by
the commissioner.
  (2) Existing [safety ropes and  system  components]  EMERGENCY  ESCAPE
SYSTEMS  still perform their function and to identify any of their limi-
tations such as but not limited to:
  (i) Checking the labels or stamps on the equipment; and
  (ii) Checking any documentation or equipment specifications; and
  (iii) Contacting the supplier or the approval agency;
  (3) Firefighters are informed of the limitations of [any safety  ropes
and system components] EMERGENCY ESCAPE SYSTEMS;
  (4)  Firefighters are not allowed or required to use any [safety ropes
or system components] EMERGENCY ESCAPE SYSTEMS beyond their limitations;
  (5) Existing and new [safety ropes and  system  components]  EMERGENCY
ESCAPE SYSTEMS have no visible defects that limit their safe use;
  (6)  [Safety ropes and system components] EMERGENCY ESCAPE SYSTEMS are
used,  cleaned,  maintained  and  stored  according  to   manufacturer's
instructions;
  (7)  The  firefighter is instructed in identifying to the employer any
defects that the firefighter may find in [safety ropes and system compo-
nents] EMERGENCY ESCAPE SYSTEMS; and
  (8) Any identified defects are corrected or immediate action is  taken
by the employer to eliminate the use of this equipment.
  S  2.  This  act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall
have become a law.

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