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Learn from China to prevent an explosive mistake from affecting employees' health and safety in your workplace!

by , 21 May 2013
Explosives are inherently unstable and therefore dangerous. That's why it's so important to be aware of the health and safety risk explosives pose in the workplace, especially with news of yesterday's blast at an explosives workshop in China making headlines. Here's how to minimise the risk of a similar explosion by appointing an explosives controller and making sure he complies with the Occupational Health & Safety Act by performing continuous risk assessments...

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.

Click here to get the one tool you can use to ensure your risk assessments are 100% legally compliant

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