RSS

Blog posts of '2015' 'February'

Best Practice for Fire-prevention and control on construction sites

In this blog post we are looking at fire -prevention precautions associated with hot work activities. 

Contractors would be generally expected to provide and use cylinder trolleys to ensure ease of transport and safe storage whilst cylinders are in use. Flashback arrestors should be fitted to all welding, cutting and heating equipment, contain any explosive incidents. Appropriate welding screens and display safety signs (including PPE signs) will be required whenever electric arc welding is being undertaken to protect other persons from the effects of ultra-violet radiation and the spread of sparks. Contractors must give consideration to fire prevention and control at all times when working on site by enforcing the following these best practice procedures:

  •  Flammable waste products i.e. cardboard, wood, sawdust, paper, cloth and the like, are to be removed from the work area on a regular basis, via the appropriate waste disposal system ( see our post on waste management and pollution control for construction)
  • Provide suitable fire fighting equipment and training to operatives and assess as necessary for the work operation undertaken.
  • Observe any specific rules a site might have for example these could be:

-Obtain 'Hot Work Permits' before hot work operations commence.

-Observe the 'No Smoking' areas

-Observe the site emergency fire procedures

  •  Ensure suitable flame-retardant materials and the like are utilised as part of your 'hot working procedures' i.e. barriers, monoflex, temporary screens and safety signs etc.

     

 

Call our sales team on Tel: 0800 652 6270 to find our about how we can provide branded fire prevention safety signs for your construction site.

Is your site compliant? You don't want a visit from the HSE

Is your site compliant? You don't want a visit from the HSE

Our last post reported how 40% of construction companies had failed recent health and safety checks by the HSE, but the HSE inspections touch only a tiny fraction of construction sites and most construction workers never see an HSE inspector unless a major accident has occurred.

The HSE campaign of random inspections serves to keep safety at the top of the agenda and publication of statistics of prosecution give a stern reminder of the importance of compliance.  Steve Murphy, General Secretary of construction union UCATT said, " The HSE are uncovering basic and straightforward safety breaches. It is imperative that far greater emphasis is applied to uncovering dangerous construction practices and prosecuting the guilty". Murphy also sadly concluded that "Construction employers will never improve safety unless they fear being caught"

The industry would rather have headlines of firms being prosecuted for failing safety checks before experiencing a major incident but we are unfortunately seeing far too many tragic headlines in the industry press like ‘someone is going to get killed’ driver warned Costain day before his death’, ‘Firm sentenced for corporate manslaughter’, ‘Two hurt after overloaded scaffold collapse’ and tragically many more.

Safety signs when used correctly can help to enhance safety on site. Signage can be used to warn, instruct and educate. A visual reminder for staff and the general public of the hazards associated with a construction site. Used as part of a thorough safety policy, safety signage can help to prevent major accidents and therefore providing no reason for a visit from the HSE. However should a random visit take place, professionally produced, branded, well maintained signage will also shows the construction company has a serious and healthy attitude towards safety procedures.