At least 12 people died yesterday when a blast destroyed an explosives workshop in China, says TheNewAge
The explosion scattered rubble up to 200 metres away and damaged nearby houses.
Added to this, 19 of the 34 employees who were in the workshop at the time were injured.
But the fact that the cause of the accident wasn't immediately known points to the possibility that this tragedy could have been prevented if adequate health and safety policies had been in place.
But before you can set up a health and safety policy, you need to do a risk assessment based on hazards in the workplace that can affect your employees' health and safety, says FSPBusiness
With a Preliminary Hazard Analysis or PHA you can identify safety-critical areas, evaluate hazards, and identify the safety design criteria to be used in a project, explains occupational health and safety expert Wilna Louw in the Health and Safety Advisor.
Careful – these explosive substances count as health and safety hazards!
To do so, you need to focus on hazardous components that you use or store in the workplace, which could affect your employees' health and safety.
This includes fuels, explosives, toxic substances, hazardous construction materials, pressure systems, radiation sources, and other energy sources.
Here's why you need to appoint an explosives controller and why he needs to perform continuous risk assessments if you work with explosives…
If you DO work with or store these substances, you'll need to appoint an explosives controller to comply with the Explosives Regulations of the Occupational Health & Safety Act.
Once appointed, it'll be your explosives controller's responsibility to submit proof of these continuous risk assessments as well as stock control and regular internal inspections or audits in a monthly report, says the Health and Safety Bulletin
By doing so, you'll be minimising the chance of an explosion in your workplace that would affect the health and safety of your employees as you'll be sure your explosives are being handled, processed, stored and transported with the utmost care and attention.
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