TENNESSEE OSHA PROVIDES WORKPLACE SAFETY TIPS FOR NATIONAL FIRE PREVENTION MONTH
IN 2007 THERE WERE 1,431 INDUSTRIAL FIRES
NASHVILLE – October is National Fire Prevention Month, and it is a time to become more familiar with ways to help prevent fires in the workplace. In 2007, there were 1,431 industrial fires resulting in more than $37 million worth of damage to businesses in Tennessee. These fires were responsible for 38 injuries and one death.
To prevent industrial fires it is important for employers to be in compliance with Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health (TOSHA) standards. "It is our goal to keep both employers and employees as safe as possible in the workplace. Since October is National Fire Prevention Month we feel it is very important to be aware of some basic safety tips," said John Winkler, TOSHA Administrator.
Employers can lower the risk of having an industrial fire by doing several things:
- Go over housekeeping procedures for storage and cleanup of flammable waste and materials.
- Control combustible dust.
- Cover procedures for controlling workplace ignition sources such as smoking, welding and burning.
- Provide for proper cleaning and maintenance of heat producing equipment such as burners, heat exchangers, boilers, ovens and fryers and require storage of flammables away from this equipment.
- Inform workers of the potential fire hazards in their work area and prepare emergency evacuation procedures.
- Review emergency evacuation procedures with all new employees and whenever the procedure is changed make sure all employees are aware of the changes.
In case of an actual fire, every workplace must have enough exits suitably located to enable everyone to get out of the facility quickly. Considerations include the type of structure, the number of persons exposed, the fire protection available, the type of industry involved and the height and type of construction of the building or structure. In addition, fire exits must not be blocked or locked when employees are inside.
For more information on fire prevention and safety please call TOSHA consultative services at 800-249-8510. It’s free and confidential.
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