The basic principles of breaking down a fire

Hi Everyone,

As a human being you need basic supplements to survive, a fire is no different. A fire is made up of three basic properties, Air, Heat and Fuel, by knowing this you are able to reduce the effects of a fire.

The three properties cause a chemical reaction and this is called the tetrahedron of fire. If you remove any of these properties a fire cannot survive.

If you break down the three properties, Air – so you need to suffocate the fire. You do this by reducing the air supply, this is only possible when you are in-doors. So in-doors you would close the windows if safe to do so and then the door behind you.

Heat – So you would need to cool the fire, if you have ever driven past a veld fire you might have noticed that even hours after the flames have been put out there are still firemen cooling the area, so never turn your back on a distinguished fire as it may relight.

Fuel – so you need to starve the fire, this is done by removing all of the combustible materials from the path of the fire. That would be anything that catches alight quickly eg coal, paper, wood, material.

I hope this helps you understand fire a bit more, for any further information please do not hesitate to contact me.

Think safety, All the best

Guy

Electrical fires

Hi Everyone,

When working with electrcal appliances and electricity you have the risk of an electrical fire. With electricity overlaoding plugs and neglecting safety checks can result in a fire.

Everyone is aware of how dangerous a fire is and what a big part electrcity can play in starting and growing a fire. Yet with all this knowledge and people dont take the time and take the necessary steps to prevent fires.

With winter coming and our winters getting colder more electricity is being used, please do not overload your plugs. The plug socket can only handle a certain amount of plugs and the more you load them the more heat there is.

With the more heat there is a bigger chance for the electrics to be comprimised and next step sparks and a fire. Sitting here now with a JHB lightning storm approaching I urge people to unplug appliances that are not being.

From a work point of veiw you need to check your plg points every 3 months for signs of burns and your electrical equipment for signs of damaged wires. These simple things can save a live.

Thanks for your time

Think Safety

All the best

Guy

Why should you do a risk assessment and safety audit

Hi All,

I have been asked recently why is it essesnial to have a safety audit and do risk assessments, especially when some of the risks might seem obvious.

The truth is that even though risks are often obvious in any part of your lifestyle people seem to not accept the possible end results without proof from statistics, study results and laws to protect citizens.

If you take for example all of the silly things people do in south africa like running accress busy highways, drinking and driving and not wearing a seat belt in the car, all of these can easily end up as a fatal accident. Yet people continue to carry out these unsafe acts.

In an organisation much like having a house with kids, you must know what potential hazards exist in your environment and what the risk of these hazards are.

By doing this you are able to strategically plan the best measures to take in safeguarding your company and its employees. By doing the safety audit and risk assessment together you get an idea of what an effective and realistic plan is.

From a legal side you may be liable to be fined if an inspector notices any non compliaces.

Thanks for your time.

Think Safe

Guy

Safety and OHS audit

Hi All,

I have been busy doing a few gap audits for safety lately and it has come to my attention that a lot of companies try and get away with doing the basics and minimum requirements.

The deeper I go into these systems the more I find that there is a false sense of safety security and the basics are not effective enough to safeguard the company and its employees.

When I do an OHS audit I compare what system is in place and what has been done, to the legal requirements of compliance. While I am auditing I will go through different scenarios according to the line of work and have an idea of the bare minimum that needs to be done to keep realistically.

When doing a general safety audit I shall see what safety equipment is installed, this will include first aid, fire, evacuation equipment and signage to assist employees.

When I mentioned earlier that people get into a false sense of safety security it is when on the serface and at first glance there seems to be a good safety system in place. What people forget is that there are three stages of a compliant safety system:

Stage one is putting the systems in place, this will include the audits and assessments, Stage two would be training for fire, evacuation, safety representatives and first aid and stage three is the consinuous maintenance of these plans. This would include, monthly equipment safety checks, monthly premises safety checks, monthly safety meetings and fire drills.

I hope that this helps simplify and break down the process that needs to be followed to reach an acceptable level of compliance.

Thanks for your time

Think Safe

Guy

Usage of PPE

Hi All,

PPE, ( Personel Protective Equipment ), is vital in any organisation to assist with carrying out safety procedures and safeguarding all the staff members.

When dealing with PPE, you should provide training on how to use it, training on how to store it and training on why you need it and what it does.

To ensure that you are using the correct PPE, you should do a comprehensive risk assessment on all of the activities in the workplace. This will help in breaking down all of the risks by area and helping you prioritise the more severe risks.

Once you are certain about the risks that the staff are facing, you are able to buy and issue the correct PPE and compliantly safeguard the people in your organization.

Thanks for your time

Think Safe

Guy

Keeping rehydrated

Hi All,

Being involved on a few construction sites, I feel the heat of the sun when I am walking around and notice the construction workers. With the heat in our summer and the hard labour that some of the employees endure on the site, it is vital to schedule mandatory drink breaks.

When dealing with dehydration it is important to know that once you feel thirsty and faint you are already moving towards a dangerous dehydration state.

So by scheduling drink breaks, staff are drinking water before they feel thirsty and this way avoiding dehydration.

If it is not feasable to schedule drink breaks managers and owners of companies shall brief the staff and insist that employees take water breaks and that management support it.

Any safety plan and the procedures that are in place to carry it out will never work without buy in from management.

Thanks for your time.

Think Safe

Guy

Assessing your safety plan

Hi All,

It is important to continuously upgrade your safety procedures and systems. by doing this you avoid turn over of staff causing too few people to be trained in Health and safety.

You should be doing monthly safety checks of your equipment and identifying hazards, this helps to identify a pattern that could cause harm and as a result you can plan to eliminate or minimize the risk.

You should have an accurate list of all trained staff, the certificates should be filed and you should have a goal of how many employees you want to be trained and in what disciplines. The more staff members that are trained and compitent in health and safety the better chance you have of early detection of hazards.

Monthly OHS meetings should take place, this helps put all of your findings and plans together and continuously get up to date feedback on the safety issues.

Remember it is everyones duty in the organization to look out for the safety of others as well as themselves.

Think Safe

Guy

Evacuation Procedures

Hi All,

The more sites I inspect and audit, pushes me to firmly believe that you can never drill the evacuation plan and procedures to your employees enough.

Knowing how to leave a building safely and effectively is a vital point of any safety procedure. This involves reveiwing the procedures, testing the procedures with continuous fire drills, evacuation training, having the correct communication device and the correct evacuation equipment.

For any assistance please contact me.

Think safety

All the best

Guy

Near misses

Hi All,

It amazes me how many people I deal with do not count near misses as an incident. This has probably become the number one cause of serious injuries in the workplace and it can all be avoided by introducing basic safety systems into your business.

By reporting near miss incidents and having a plan to resolve things trgedies can be avoided.

For assistance please call me and I will assist in any way I can.

All the best

Think safe

Guy