By applying the following five principles, courtesy of the Health & Safety Executive, www.hse.gov.uk you will be well on the way to making sure that you are working safely with flammable substances.
Ensure there plenty of fresh air where flammable liquids or gases are stored and used?
Good ventilation will mean that any vapours given off from a spill, leak, or release from any process, will be rapidly dispersed.
Have all the obvious ignition sources been removed from the storage and handling areas?
Ignition sources can be very varied and they include sparks from electrical equipment or welding and cutting tools, hot surfaces, open flames from heating equipment, smoking materials etc.
Are the flammable substances kept in suitable containers?
Will a spill will it be contained and prevented from spreading to other parts of the working area?
Use of lidded containers and spillage catchment trays, for example, can help to prevent spillages spreading.
Can we exchange a flammable substance for a less flammable one?
Can we eliminate flammable substances from the process altogether?
Think of other ways of carrying out the job more safely.
Are flammable substances stored and used well away from other processes and general storage areas?
Can they be separated by a physical barrier, wall or partition?
Separating the hazards in this manner will contribute to a safer workplace.
Think about the flammable substances you have in the workplace and apply these five principles wherever possible.
Tell workers, and others who need to know, about the hazards and how they should control them.
Think - keep a strong grip on your workplace safety
Equipment for use in hazardous areas
Equipment designed, and, where necessary, equipped with additional special means of protection affording a high level of protection can only be used in these areas.
It is important to understand the limitions of use for such equipment.
See our ATEX Section for further guidance
Where ever hazardous areas are present it is necessary to inform personnel of their location.
A sign similar to the one shown here must be used where pedestrian access to hazardous locations occurs.
Equally, other elements associated with good hazardous area management should also be included, such as appropriate personal protective equipment, anti-static protection measures etc