The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has recognized the International Code Council’s 2009 International Fire Code as an alternate compliance option for means of egress in its Occupational Safety and Health Standards.
ICC petitioned the federal agency asking for its code to be recognized as a way for an employer to demonstrate compliance with the OSHA Exit Routes and Emergency Management (formerly called Means of Egress) requirements.
“In jurisdictions where the 2009 International Fire Code is enforced, employers whose buildings have been inspected and approved can use that approval to demonstrate compliance with OSHA requirements (Sec 1910, Subpart E),” Code Council CEO Richard P. Weiland said. “We thank OSHA for recognizing the safety attributes of our code as well as the professional expertise and science that goes into the code’s development.”
The Council’s petition, which started in 2004, was offered on behalf of ICC Members and all jurisdictions that adopt and enforce I-Codes; building and fire code enforcement officials; and building owners and managers with facilities that are maintained in compliance with the I-Codes.
“Allowing the IFC regulations to be used for exiting buildings will save money by eliminating the need to demonstrate compliance with dual regulations, and by avoiding potential construction modifications due to conflicting codes,” Weiland said. “OSHA’s recognition demonstrates collaboration between the agency and those who share the mission of protecting the health and safety of building occupants.”
The U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. General Services Administration supported the Code Council’s petition along with local and state jurisdictions, including New York state, Jefferson County, CO, and the city of Hampton, VA.
Twenty seven states with approved Occupational Safety and Health plans also will have to update their emergency preparedness plans to incorporate the new rule within six months of the final rule’s publication. The final rule was published in June  and went into effect on July 8.