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The only way to prevent a firey health and safety disaster in your workplace...

by , 13 May 2013
'Fire!' It's not something you expect to hear while shopping. But that's exactly what happened when a fire broke out in Southgate Shopping Centre, south of Johannesburg on Friday. A fire can break out anytime, anywhere. Here's how to manage this health and safety risk in your business...

On Friday, employees and shoppers alike were evacuated from Southgate Shopping Centre after a fire broke out near the Ackerman's store, says EyeWitnessNews.  
Luckily, the fire was extinguished quickly and there wasn't too much damage to the shopping centre.
More importantly, as Johannesburg Emergency Services and Netcare 911 paramedics rushed to the scene, there was no need to treat anyone for injuries or smoke inhalation either.
A fire can break out in an instant, which is why your employees need to be aware of their actions that could spark a fire.
Two ways smoking in the workplace can lead to a fire…
For example, if you provide a designated smoking area, make sure your employees always properly put out their cigarettes and throw the butt into an ashtray and not loosely on the ground where they can be blown away, says The Health and Safety Advisor.
Also remind your employees to only smoke in designated smoking areas – never where there's a combination of heat, fuel and oxygen such as around the office generator.
But it's not just cigarettes that pose a fire hazard in the office.
Revealed: The best way to minimise the risk of a fire breaking out in your workplace…
So make sure your employees never store their papers and files near electrical cables that could result in a fire, either.
It's a good idea to train your employees on basic fire safety in a toolbox talk.
When you do so, get your employees to ask themselves 'Can this situation start a fire?'
This way, you'll be less likely to have a fire break out in the office that could affect your employees' health and safety, as your employees will be thinking about the work they do, the things they do and whether a fire can start because of it, says The Health and Safety Advisor.

Is your designated smoking area at least 5m away from non-smoking employees? Click here to be 100% compliant with smoking legislations now!

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