01/1/21

PORTABLE HEATERS

It is critically important for companies to establish and follow safe guidelines for using portable heaters. Without them, portable heaters can become workplace fire hazards.

PRIOR TO OPERATION

  • Ensure electronic flame sensors or pilot safety valves are in place.
  • Examine cords or electrical connections for damage.
  • Inspect for damage or fuel leakage following long-term storage.

APPROVED FOR THE ENVIRONMENT

  • Place heaters on a non-combustible surface that extends four feet in front of the unit, unless approved otherwise by the manufacturer.
  • Remove all combustible materials near the unit.
  • Establish a three-foot safety perimeter around the heater.

VENTILATION

  • Ensure there is adequate ventilation in the area where you plan to use the heater.
  • Provide mechanical ventilation when the natural supply of fresh air is inadequate.
  • Verify the unit does not deplete oxygen in the area.
  • If you’re using the heater in an enclosed space, use an appropriate carbon monoxide detector.

FIRE PREVENTION

  • Maintain a fire extinguisher nearby.
  • Verify that the heating unit is off and cool before you refuel it.
  • Never refuel indoors or within 50 feet of a building.
  • Turn off portable heaters in unoccupied spaces.

ACCIDENT & INJURY PREVENTION

  • Develop a plan for portable heater use.
  • Make sure to communicate sound safety procedures for using portable heaters.
  • Consider the jobsite’s conditions and requirements before selecting a portable heater.
  • Make sure all workers know how to use portable heaters safely.
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s specifications.
  • Reference OSHA’s construction standard for temporary heating devices Subpart F, 1926.154.

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