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Safety and Health Practitioner (SHP) is first for independent health and safety news.
November 22, 2010

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HSE issues reminder about the dangers of ‘hot work’

The HSE has issued a safety alert about the dangers of carrying out ‘hot work’ on used containers after two people were killed in separate incidents in north-east Scotland while cutting up drums.

The alert reminds duty-holders of the risk of explosion when undertaking ‘hot work’ on containers that house flammable or combustible substances like waste thinners, fuel, or anti-freeze.

‘Hot work’ includes any process that generates a source of ignition, such as naked flames, heat or sparks arising from working methods, such as welding. The process can generate such extreme temperatures that even containers that might not be classified as flammable under normal conditions can ignite.

HSE Principal Inspector, Edward Marshall, said: “This alert is not issuing new guidance but is to ensure that all relevant workers are aware and familiar with the comprehensive advice that already exists.

“In many cases, hot work may not actually be necessary, and those ultimately responsible for the work should consider safer alternatives, such as the disposal of drums, rather than thier repair, and the use of cold-cutting techniques or cold-repair methods.

“If there is no alternative, employers should aim to avoid the risks by using specialist companies, or reduce them using methods such as gas-freeing or cleaning before starting hot work.

“It is essential that all employees have had the right training for the job and know what precautions to take to protect themselves and others.”

For more information, visit www.hse.gov.uk/safetybulletins/hotwork.htm

Approaches to managing the risks associated Musculoskeletal disorders

In this episode of the Safety & Health Podcast, we hear from Matt Birtles, Principal Ergonomics Consultant at HSE’s Science and Research Centre, about the different approaches to managing the risks associated with Musculoskeletal disorders.

Matt, an ergonomics and human factors expert, shares his thoughts on why MSDs are important, the various prevalent rates across the UK, what you can do within your own organisation and the Risk Management process surrounding MSD’s.

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