Do you have hazardous chemicals at work? Many businesses deal with highly flammable substances such as petrol, ethanol, methylated spirits, nail polish remover, and even hand sanitizer. If exposed to flames, electricity, or industrial heat, any of these chemicals could cause explosions or a major fire incident resulting in death and serious damage. Let’s look at how to protect your workers and your business from a devastating chemical fire.
Proper storage and ventilation
Think about how to contain flammable vapours and emissions as much as possible. Things like proper ventilation, using exhaust ventilation to extract or capture fumes and controlling the temperature of these zones are all important factors.
It may seem obvious, but also keeping lids on chemical containers, immediately cleaning up any chemical spills, and minimising splashes from flammable substances, all contribute to reducing the risk of fire.
Recognise ignition sources
You need to thoroughly think about anything that could cause hazardous chemicals at work to light and cause a fire. Some possibilities to consider include:
- Electrical sources: sparks from electrical equipment such as generators and faulty light bulbs, power points and static electricity from mobile phones, and keyless remote controls.
- Hot work: Processes that create heat such as welding, grinding, metal cutting, brazing, heat treatments and soldering.
- Industrial heat: Machinery and work areas that contain fires, furnaces, boilers, heaters, stoves, ovens and radiators.
- Flames – This includes direct flame sources such as cigarette lighters, Bunsen burners, blow torches, matches, and candles.
This is a general guide and not a complete list. Instead, you need to examine your workplace and processes individually to determine what may be an ignition risk for you.
Know the relevant laws and standards
All business owners have a legal obligation under Work Health and Safety laws to reduce and control chemical hazards in your workplace. You need a solid understanding of the WHS laws that relate to your state or territory, and you should also be familiar with the Australian Standards related to chemical compliance. These can be updated from time to time, so it’s important to stay up to date. However, it’s a good idea to seek assistance in this area from someone who understands the requirements inside and out. This brings us to our next point, seeking professional assistance is vital.
Use a professional fire safety provider
Keeping your staff, business, and community safe is a big responsibility. Don’t attempt to manage fire safety and fire prevention on your own, especially if your business deals with significant amounts of flammable chemicals. Global Fire can help you identify what hazards exist in your workplace and we work with you to design and implement a solution to reduce your fire risk. We are certified by the industry’s leading bodies and ensure strict compliance with the latest service codes and standards.
Call us now on 1300 88 70 18 or email email@example.com.