Equipment that gets heated up in no time and also has fuel stored in a different chamber is more likely to catch fire. Heavy equipment work all throughout the day and become really hot even after having worked for few hours. There are high chances that the machine may catch fire and therefore there is a need to have fire extinguisher inside the heavy equipment. It also should be within the reach of the operator which means that he/she should not have to struggle to get the extinguisher the moment he/she detects the machine is on fire. The most common reason for the heavy equipment to catch fire is that the fuel tank is located just above the engine and when the engine becomes tremendously hot, the chances of it catching fire increases manifolds. Just a small spark is enough to cause a big disaster and therefore the operator should ensure that he continue working on the machine after giving some break to it.
Now as per the US department of Labor and US Fish and Wildlife Service it is sole responsibility of the employer to maintain fire extinguishers. If they are found not having one in the machine, they will be penalized as per the Labor’s Fire Protection Code 1926.150. But there is nothing mentioned in the code about the size of the fire extinguisher one should have and hence they can have any size of extinguisher provided it is rated not less than 2A and is provided to a protected area of 3000 square feet. Also the travel distance should not exceed by 100 feet.
What the employer can do before placing an extinguisher is go through the regulation carefully and understand them well so that later on he does not have to face any legal hassles from the court of the land. Simply installing a fire extinguisher does not make much sense when the person who is supposed to use it does not know how to use the stuff. This means that the operator should also be given sufficient training on how to handle a fire extinguisher. An operator will be the guy who can help himself if a crisis of this sort ever happens. He will not be able to find help from outside and if he does not know how to operate it well, it is a big danger for him.
The construction company should also put emphasis on programs related to fire fighting and should engage people to attend it. The workers in the jobsite should be trained to tackle the situation as this may save the life of their fellow workers. The Occupational Safety and health Administration (OSHA) has strictly mentioned in their regulation book that the employer has to take the onus to conduct and develop fire protection programs and should also provide for the required firefighting equipment to its employees. Construction companies are bound to follow these guidelines very stringently as it is concerns the life of his employees.