Fire safety has come a long way since the tragedy at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in 1911. Today, there are standards put in place by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to guard against hazards like locked fire exits and inadequate fire extinguishing systems, which were present in the New York City factory fire that killed nearly 150 women and young girls. Here are 11.5 tips for you and your workers to follow for maximum fire safety in your workplace:
Always ensure accessibility to electrical control panels. Material or equipment stored in front of the panels would hinder the shutdown of power in an emergency. Also, never block sprinklers, firefighting equipment or emergency exits and observe clearances when stacking materials.
Clutter not only provides fuel for fires, but also prevents access to exits and emergency equipment. Keep your workplace as clutter-free as possible.
Proper Waste Disposal
Discard fire hazards like oily rags by placing them in a covered metal container and emptying it on a regular basis.
Make sure the machines in your workplace are properly maintained to prevent overheating and friction sparks.
Report Electrical Hazards
Unless you are qualified and authorized, you should never attempt electrical repairs. Faulty wiring and malfunctioning electrical equipment are key contributors to workplace fires.
Safe Chemical Use & Storage
Always read the label and the Material Safety Data Sheet to assess flammability and other fire hazards of a substance. When using and storing chemical materials, always do so in an area with adequate ventilation.
Precautions In Explosive Atmospheres
Follow all recommended and required precautions to prevent ignition in potentially explosive atmospheres, such as those containing flammable liquid vapors or fine particles. These precautions include non-sparking tools and proper static electricity control.
Maximum Building Security
To help prevent arson fires, always lock up as instructed, report suspicious persons or behavior and never leave combustible garbage outside near your building..
Always ensure that there is a smoke area available and that all workers who smoke on the job are using it. Proper extinguishing of smoking materials should always be enforced.
Fully Charged Fire Extinguishers
Check fire extinguishers often by looking at the gauges and making sure they're fully charged and ready for use. If they're not fully charged or if the attached tag indicates that the last inspection occurred more than a month ago, call for maintenance. Also, encourage all workers to learn how to use a fire extinguisher.
Emergency phone numbers, as well as your company address, should be posted by the phone station for quick access.
11.5 OSHA Guidelines
Adherence to OSHA's fire safety guidelines is crucial for fire prevention. Read through these regulations and make sure your workplace is in compliance.
Making sure your workers return home safely is our mission and passion. Take these 11.5 tips to your workplace and practice true fire safety, which begins before the fire even ignites.
For more information on the Environment Health & Safety (EH&S) Consulting and Training we offer, visit Arbill online or call 800-523-5367 to speak to one of our workplace safety specialists.
About Arbill Arbill offers innovative industrial safety products, safety services and safety training programs to protect workers on the job. Arbill uses a customer-focused process that values the direct return on investment of each personalized safety program by reducing the hard costs of insurance, missed work and litigation.