Tragic Boston fire spurs strong partnership and crucial training for thousands of Massachusetts workers
September 4, 2018 – The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the leading global fire and life safety advocate, has won a coveted Brandon Hall Group gold award for excellence in learning in the custom content category for its online hot work safe practices training.
The Brandon Hall Group Excellence Awards are the most prestigious awards program for the learning, talent and business executive industry. The award honors, in part, successfully developed and deployed programs and strategies evaluated by a panel of industry experts.
After a nine-alarm fire in a Boston brownstone that killed Lieutenant Edward Walsh and firefighter Michael Kennedy in March 2014, NFPA began working with the Boston Fire Department, Boston Inspectional Services, and the Building and Construction Trades Council of the Metropolitan District to train anyone engaged in hot work operations on welding and grinding safety practices. Hot work (any activity involving flame, spark production, and heat, such as welding) can cause devastating injuries and death.
The partnership led the Boston City Council to pass an ordinance amending the Boston Fire Prevention Code and requiring workers in various construction industry jobs to obtain a Hot Work Safety Certificate by January 1, 2017. This same requirement became mandatory throughout Massachusetts in July. NFPA launched its hot work classroom training in October 2016, a program that has educated 33,000 workers to date; and then unveiled its award-winning Hot Work Safe Practices eLearning module for those working on or supervising hot work operations in March of this year. The training is helping communities reduce avoidable loss by raising awareness of job site safety considerations and challenges.
"Our collaboration with the City of Boston on hot work training has been an outstanding example of how leaders can, and should, come together to ensure that there is a fire and life safety ecosystem in place to protect people and property from harm,” said Chuck Stravin, NFPA vice president of Business Development & Operations. “Boston Fire and Inspectional Services recognized a safety threat and worked with us to address the issue via education and awareness. Chief Jack Dempsey and his team from the Boston Fire Department, along with Tom O’Donnell from the City of Boston Inspectional Services Division, were instrumental in working with our staff to ensure that the content included in both our classroom training and online training, addressed the basic fundamentals required to ensure hot work safety in a practical way. We are thrilled that our innovative training has been recognized, but more importantly, we are proud of the role we are playing in keeping workers and residents safe.”
The hot work material is presented in an interactive and engaging 90-minute eLearning course (state requirements called for one 90-minute eLearning module). After completing the course and passing an exam, learners obtain a certificate and are eligible to pull hot work permits throughout the state.
The course opens with news footage of the deadly Beacon Street fire, then cuts to an interview with the mother of one of the lost firefighters. The story is woven throughout the course and conveys the seriousness of the content from the beginning. The program is designed to enable the learner to:
- Identify relevant standards, regulations, and ordinances that are applicable to hot work
- Describe the systems approach to hot work safety
- Define and identify hot work and hot work hazards
- Describe hot work evaluation requirements
- Describe hot work safety team roles and responsibilities
- Describe hot work permit requirements
For this release and other announcements about NFPA initiatives, research, and resources, please visit the NFPA press room.
About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
Founded in 1896, NFPA is a global, nonprofit organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards. The association delivers information and knowledge through more than 300 consensus codes and standards, research, training, education, outreach and advocacy; and by partnering with others who share an interest in furthering the NFPA mission. For more information, visit www.nfpa.org. All NFPA codes and standards can be viewed online for free at www.nfpa.org/freeaccess.
Contact: Lorraine Carli, Public Affairs Office: +1 617 984-7275