AROUND THE PROVINCES: Portable Heater Requirements

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In the winter, it’s generally acceptable to let workers who work outside use portable heaters to stay warm and avoid hyperthermia and other cold stress related illnesses. (Click here for more information on an employer’s duty to protect workers from cold stress.) But portable heaters pose their own hazards, such as burns and carbon monoxide poisoning. So some OHS laws have requirements for the safe use of such heaters. Here’s a chart of these requirements for each jurisdiction:

PORTABLE HEATER REQUIREMENTS

OHS LAW

FED

1) When a high-capacity portable open-flame heating device is used in an enclosed workplace, the heating device must:

a) be located, protected and used so that there’s no hazard of igniting tarpaulins, wood or other combustible materials near the heating device;

b) be used only when there’s ventilation provided;

c) be located so as to be protected from accidental contact, damage or overturning; and

d) not restrict an exit [Sec. 2.17(1)].

2) When the heating device doesn’t provide complete combustion of the fuel used in it, it must be equipped with an exhaust system that discharges the products of combustion outside the enclosed workplace [Sec. 2.17(2)].

OHS Regs.

AB

OHS laws don’t have specific requirements for portable heaters.

 

BC

To maintain acceptable air quality, employers must establish a preventive maintenance system that includes maintenance of combustion sources, including space heaters, to assure proper burning and exhausting of waste gases so that recirculation of gases to the workplace won’t occur [Sec. 4.78(2)(e)].

OHS Regs.

MB

OHS laws don’t have specific requirements for portable heaters.

NB

OHS laws don’t have specific requirements for portable heaters.

 

NL

OHS laws don’t have specific requirements for portable heaters.

 

NT/

NU

OHS laws don’t have specific requirements for portable heaters.

 

NS

1) Employer must locate, install, operate, inspect and maintain temporary space heating equipment so as to prevent the unintended ignition of any material [Sec. 102].

2) When space heating equipment is powered by a combustible fuel, the employer must ensure that:

a) the equipment is located on the ground or above a non-combustible floor of sufficient thickness to prevent the transference of enough heat to cause a fire below; and

b) if located above a combustible floor, the equipment is separated from the combustible floor by 75 mm of non-combustible material covered by sheet metal extending 600 mm beyond the heating equipment on all sides [Sec. 103].

OHS Regs.

ON

1) A fuel-fired heating device must be located, protected and used in such a way that there’s no risk of igniting a tarpaulin or similar temporary enclosure or combustible materials adjacent to it [Sec. 49(1)].

2) No fuel-fired heating device may be used in a confined or enclosed space unless there’s an adequate supply of air for combustion and adequate general ventilation [Sec. 49(2)].

3) A fuel-fired heating device must be protected from damage and from overturning [Sec. 49(3)].

4) No fuel-fired heating device may be located so as to restrict any means of egress [Sec. 49(4)].

5) A fuel-fired heating device that generates noxious products of combustion must discharge the products of combustion outside the building or structure in which it’s located [Sec. 49(5)].

6) All fuel supply lines must be constructed, guarded or placed in such a way as to be protected from damage [Sec. 50].

Construction Projects Reg.

PE

Employers must ensure that:

1) liquid fuel or gas for a temporary heating device in excess of one day’s supply is:

a) stored in safe conditions;

b) not stored in a building or structure unless in a fire resistant room constructed for the purpose; and

c) not stored adjacent to a means of egress [Sec. 7.1].

2) a fuel fired heating device, including a temporary furnace:

a) is placed on the ground or on a non-combustible floor, but may be placed on a wooden floor if it’s separated from the floor by 76 mm of non-combustible material covered by sheet metal and extending 600 mm beyond all sides of the device;

b) is located, protected and used so that it won’t ignite:

i) tarpaulins or similar temporary enclosures; or

ii) wood or other combustible materials;

c) is provided with a securely supported short metal pipe to

discharge the products of combustion outdoors where necessary;

d) is, where specified by the manufacturer, vented to the

outside atmosphere to remove harmful or noxious fumes;

e) is used only where there’s adequate general ventilation

while workers are in the building or structure [Sec. 7.2].

3) portable heaters aren’t:

a) used in a confined space; or

b) located in or adjacent to a means of egress [Sec. 7.3].

4) an approved fire extinguisher of adequate size is readily available at the location of every temporary heating device [Sec. 7.4]

OHS Regs.

QC

OHS laws don’t have specific requirements for portable heaters.

 

SK

1) When it isn’t reasonably practicable to control thermal conditions or work is being performed outdoors, employers, contractors or owners must provide and maintain measures for the reasonable thermal comfort of workers, including the provision of temporary heating equipment [Sec. 70].

2) Employers, contractors or owners must ensure that portable fire extinguishers are placed no more than nine metres away from each industrial open-flame portable heating device that’s in use [Sec. 361(2)(a)].

OHS Regs.

YT

Portable fire extinguishers of an appropriate type, size and quantity must be provided and maintained where temporary oil, gas or electric heaters are in operation [Sec. 1.70(2)(d)].

OHS Regs.