An Ounce of Prevention, Part 1

An Ounce of Prevention, Part 1Knowing where the fire exits are is a smart thing to do. But it’s even smarter to prevent fires in the first place.

Many of us associate industrial fires with electrical faults. There’s a fault, there’s arcing, and then there’s fire. About 21% of industrial fires are from electrical causes. There’s quite a bit we can do to eliminate factors that lead to faults. For example, properly torque connections, conduct infrared surveys in cabinets, and perform insulation resistance testing (with trending) on cables.

But not far below electrical faults is another cause that does not get the safety attention it merits. Smoking causes 17% of industrial fires. Compare that to the 5% caused by cutting and welding combined.

Smoking is not a safe activity; the fatality rate from smoking-related illnesses is nearly 100% among those who smoke. Many of the diseases it causes are on par with what you get from chronic exposure to industrial chemicals. The federal government has many regulations and the Hazard Communication Standard to help protect you from such things as ingestion of benzene on the job, but you get benzene with every breath of smoke.

So we have a great deal of motivation to at least control this health and fire hazard on the job. If you light up at work, you endanger everyone. But the danger is much less if you confine this to designated smoking areas.

Part 2 » | Source: Mark Lamendola | Mindconnection

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