Selecting Your Gear: Risk Assessment

Creating a Risk Assessment

A Risk Assessment identifies the hazards department personnel may encounter in the course of their duties and describes appropriate levels of personal protection to operate safely and effectively in conditions that may expose personnel to those hazards. When completed, this Risk Assessment can be a valuable tool in selecting appropriate PPE, creating your specifications, and even providing the justification for two sets of turnout gear or a personnel training plan.

NFPA 1851 Standard on Selection, Care, and Maintenance of Protective Ensembles for Structural Fire Fighting, and OSHA 29 CFR 1910.132 require fire departments to perform a Risk Assessment prior to starting the selection process of structural and proximity firefighting ensembles and ensemble elements.

NFPA 1851 provides detailed requirements to include in your Risk Assessment, including:

  • Types of duties performed
  • Frequency of use of ensemble elements
  • Organization’s experiences
  • Incident operations
  • Geographic location and climate
  • Specific physical area of operation
  • Likelihood of or response to CBRN terrorism incident
  • Need for two sets of ensemble elements or spare ensemble elements
In addition, the following items should be considered:
  • Hazard/Risk identification
  • Hazard/Risk evaluation
  • Establishment of priorities of department


Based on this Risk Assessment, the organization should compile and evaluate information on the comparative strengths and weaknesses of the elements under consideration and that they interface properly with other personal protective items being used. For assistance, please contact your Globe Dealer.

Document Your Risk Assessment

Get started with a blank template to document your department's risk assessment.

Getting Started on a Risk Assessment

Learn what to include on your department's risk assessment form to address needs and standards, as well as how to work with stakeholders within your department to get the gear you need.