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Re: GSBN: re fire safety was Ecohouse
- To: GSBN GSBN@...
- Subject: Re: GSBN: re fire safety was Ecohouse
- From: Marcus marcus1@...
- Date: Fri, 19 Jan 2007 10:17:58 -0800
- Reply-to: "GSBN" GSBN@...
- Sender: "GSBN" GSBN@...
I'd be pretty leery of attempting to put workplace safety
regulations in building codes. Just coming up with
appropriate wording to cover all situations but not be too
restrictive would be a challenge. For example it's common on
many jobs to use angle grinders with a Lancelot blade to
dress straw walls, openings and such. Would an over zealous
building inspector shut down the job..?
As Nehemiah mentioned there are workplace safety regulations
apart from building codes. As Brian mentioned it is common
to put notes on construction drawings that cover some safety
issues although I doubt if building inspectors really look
Fire safety is a serious issue - especially with straw but
building codes seem to be concerned with the health and
safety of the occupants not the builders. Property damage
issues can be covered contractually with safety notes on
construction drawings, in the building contract or both.
Perhaps it would be helpful to suggest some "boiler plate"
wording that could be used as is or modified to fit
individual projects. Here's a sample from one job:
"Raising straw bale walls generates extensive loose straw,
which is a fire hazard. The contractor shall continuously
sweep the jobsite clean of loose straw and shall maintain
fire extinguishers and/or working hoses within easy reach to
This could be expanded to include how to deal with processes
that use open flame or create sparks. Not so much to
prohibit their use but to stipulate conditions of use.
Do the codes typically address the construction process
If so, I'd suggest language prohibiting use of grinders,
welders, propane torches, smoking, and other sources of
ignition within X distance of any exposed straw including
loose straw on the ground unless certain safety
conditions were met. (for instance, some plumbing joints
may need to be soldered but there are insulating
materials which can be put behind and above the joint to
prevent ignition, and a water hose can be turned on and