Property damage and worker injuries and deaths become a possibility knowing that some industries have inherent fire hazards. Indeed, gases, chemicals, other flammable substances, and electrical wirings in such workplaces could potentially spark a raging fire and/or a destructive explosion. When such occurrences happen, they are deemed costly not just for these industries, but also for workers who were unfortunately involved in these accidents. Burns and other secondary injuries are bound to happen in such instances, not to mention death due to such complications.
In developed countries like Australia, United States, United Kingdom, and Canada, workplace fires are responsible to at least 3 to 4 percent of annual work-related deaths. This is why it is very important for employers and workers involved to focus on implementing general safety measures, focusing on explosion and fire prevention by hazard identification and risk mitigation. Workers and employers each play a role in ensuring that fires and explosions won’t occur in their workplace. If they do happen at an unfortunate time, they should be able to exercise certain plans of action so as to reduce the possibility of injuries and deaths among the industries’ workforce.
As it is, the occupational safety organizations set forth certain standards when it comes to fire prevention in industries and other workplaces. It is the responsibility of employers to adhere with these standards in an effort to protect the health and welfare of the workers from such hazards. Otherwise, they could face heavy penalties and sanctions for failing to do so. One of the things employers must do for their workers when it comes enforcing fire safety in the workplace is to have them undergo training. This is the first step towards making sure that employees are aware of fire hazards and that they are able to seamlessly handle certain fiery accidents before they could worsen.
Employers must teach them certain evacuation procedures in cases of fires and explosions. This is where fire drills are implemented on a periodic basis; employers must conduct them every now and then so that workers become familiar with the exit routes, meeting areas, and the procedure itself. They must also educate them on how to use fire extinguishers through hands-on training, and familiarizing them with exit routes with the help of exit signs. Furthermore, it is a must for company owners to invest on topnotch fire-prevention equipment like fire sprinklers and extinguishers in order to address such disaster before it claim lives and properties.
Workers, meanwhile, must instill in their minds the value of safety. So aside from learning how to use fire extinguishers and taking fire drills seriously, below is a list of some helpful safety tips they should always keep in mind to prevent workplace fires from happening:
- Exercise good housekeeping in the workplace. Any rubbish that could potential start a fire must be thrown in designated places. Corridors leading to fire exits and emergency equipment must be cleared of any potential fire hazards. More importantly, if workers handle cleaning chemicals and other substances that are considered flammable, they must make sure that they tightly sealed and are kept in a well-ventilated room. Additionally, it is important to place exit signs in areas where they can be easily seen to facilitate swift evacuation if necessary.
- Fires start simply because of faulty wiring and broken electrical equipment. Any electrical hazards must be reported immediately to a supervisor. Workers who are not authorized to make electrical repairs should not attempt remedying the situation.
Workplace fires are devastating. Aside from potential injuries and property damage, such events could result in job layoffs just because a facility needs to be rebuilt. Even companies ravaged by fires in their facilities, factories, and plants cannot afford to rebuild them given the costly expenditures. This is why preventing fires and explosions is not just important; it is the responsibility of everyone, from workers to employers. Indeed, safety should always be at the forefront in performing work.