We operate two rock crushing and screening sites for our clients in Western Australia and have a number of fire extinguishers on both sites. What is the requirement for inspecting these fire extinguishers? They are mainly dry chemical type and a couple of CO2.
Chapter F2 – Fire Safety of the Health and Safety Handbook includes relevant information on the inspecting and testing of fire extinguishers.
The Occupational Safety and Health Act 1982 (WA) (OHS) and Regulations in Western Australia do not specify a mandatory frequency of fire extinguisher inspections and maintenance. If there is a risk of fire in a workplace, the Regulations direct that a person who is the employer, the main contractor, a self-employed person or a person having control of the workplace must, as far as practicable, provide regularly maintained and efficient portable fire extinguishers to control any fire likely to arise from the work being done at the workplace (Reg 3.9(1)(a)).
Australian Standard AS 1851-2005 states the best practice for maintaining fire protection systems and equipment is that extinguishers should be inspected every 6 months. While the standard is not mandatory for employers, compliance with the standard would satisfy the OSH regulator that you have complied with your OSH duty to provide regularly maintained and efficient portable fire extinguishers.