Spontaneous Ignition Many people do not believe it can happen. For no apparent reason, fire erupts, usually during off-hours. It does happen. It's called spontaneous ignition, and preventing it is part of your job. Spontaneous ignition occurs when a combustible object is heated to its ignition temperature by a chemical reaction involving the oxygen in the air around us. This "oxidation" process creates heat that, if not dissipated, will build up until ignition occurs. Generally, this can happen when the materials are left in piles and the heat being generated in the pile cannot be released into the air. A number of materials...

Springtime Yard & Field Maintenance Many industries are coming into their busiest season now--often with increased outdoor work in equipment yards, outside shops, or storage areas. Before peak activities begin is a good time to organize, repair, and clean up these areas. Time to accomplish this will probably be scarce later on. The following checklist may make this job easier: Are chemicals kept in an outside storage facility? If so, are the following in place? Is the written Hazcom Program complete and available to employees? Have all employees been trained in chemical handling and spill clean-up? Are spill clean-up materials available, and...

What To Do In Case of Fire SOUND THE ALARM: Do not underestimate any fire. Sound the fire alarm and call the local fire department immediately if a fire breaks out. Choose a safe location to make the call. It will be helpful for emergency responders to know the size and location of the fire and the general hazards in the area (such as chemicals, compressed gases etc). Follow your own company’s procedures in responding to fires. USE YOUR JUDGEMENT: When you see smoke or fire, you should use your own good judgment before you decide to extinguish the blaze. Attempt to...

Emergency! Where's The Fire Extinguisher? As you walk toward the maintenance shop, you smell something burning and see light gray smoke coming from the window. You run into the shop and find the contents of the plastic trash can burning. What will you do? What is burning in the trash can? Where is the closest fire extinguisher? What type of extinguisher is it? Is the fire too big for you to put out? Do you even need a fire extinguisher? Are there people in the shop that should be warned of the danger? These are questions that should be going through your...

Using Portable Fire Extinguishers In the event of a fire, the correct use of a portable fire extinguisher could mean the difference between suffering a minor loss or a major one. Portable fire extinguishers, if used properly, can make that difference. But there are several things to consider in using fire extinguishers. For instance, you must know the class of fire involved and the correct type of fire extinguisher to use. CLASSES OF FIRES AND FIRE EXTINGUISHERS: Class A Involves ordinary combustibles such as paper, wood, cloth, rubber or plastics. The common extinguishing media is water or dry chemical. Class B Flammable liquids, grease...

Fire Extinguishers One of the quickest ways to lose a job is allow a fire to start. Sometimes fires do start and it then becomes a matter of putting the fire out as soon as possible. The best way is to use a fire extinguisher. Guide for Discussion Care and Use Be sure the fire extinguishers are charged, strategically located and ready for use. Everyone has a responsibility to check to see that fire extinguishers and fire hoses (as well as other dispensing components) are not blocked. Common Types of Extinguishers Class A Fires: Rubbish, paper, scrap, scrap lumber. Use soda acid and pressurized extinguishers or...

Foundry Worker Safety Foundries are a source of many hazards. There is a hot work environment and the potential for burns or fires around furnaces and crucibles.  Molten metals create fumes.  Sand molding materials can create silica dust.  Chipping, sandblasting, and grinding creates dust.  Conveyors, crushers, and stamping machines pose a caught/crush hazard. This combined activity creates a noisy atmosphere.  Workers need proper work techniques, adequate ventilation, and personal protective equipment (PPE) to stay safe. PPE protects you from the foundry environment. Wear leather shoes, gloves, and safety glasses with a side shield.  A hat with a brim protects you from spatters....

Fire Protection and Control Most fires are a result of inattention to the job site operations and surrounding conditions. This lack of attention or protection can result in the loss of life and property. All fires can be easily extinguished if caught soon enough and the proper extinguishing tools are handy. Guide for Discussion Steps to Remember When a Fire Starts: Sound an alarm—yell if necessary. Warn those near the fire. If possible and the fire is small, try to extinguish it. Call the Fire Department if the fire can’t be easily and quickly extinguished. Evacuate the area if the fire can’t be...

Workplace Fires The potential for fire is present in any workplace. But, if you’re aware of the causes and conditions, if you’re prepared, and if you think before you act, the risk of a workplace fire and its damaging effects – on you, your co-workers or your company – can be minimized. Following good housekeeping practices is crucial to fire prevention. That means keep heating and electrical equipment clean, clear, and in good repair; regularly clean ducts and fume hood filters; keep ovens and ranges clean and free of spilled fats, sugar, sauces, etc.; keep paper products, aerosols, and other flammable materials...

Fire Extinguishers Even though your company may be equipped with automatic sprinklers or other means of fire protection, the portable fire extinguishers are the first line of defense in the control of fires at their start. Most fires, in the beginning stage, can be extinguished easily with portable equipment, but only if the equipment is readily accessible and the employee knows how to use it. The reaction time, from when the fire is first realized, is extremely important. If time is wasted in a search for the proper fire extinguisher and a review of the operating instructions, a small, easily controlled fire...