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Avoid a disaster like the one in Olifantsfontein! Use this toolbox talk to train employees on fire safety measures

by , 13 September 2013
A pharmaceutical factory in Olifantsfontein has been destroyed by a fire. According to News24, firefighters managed to put out a blaze at the factory in the early hours of this morning. The fire which destroyed most of the factory is believed to have started yesterday night. It's not clear what caused the blaze. As investigations get underway, you can prevent something similar at your company by using this toolbox talk on fire safety to train your employees...

A fire in your building or warehouse can cost you millions in damages. It'll stop production indefinitely and you could even lose your business all together.

This is the sad reality the pharmaceutical factory in Olifantsfontein has to deal with.

The good news is, you can learn from this tragedy and avoid this.

How do you do this?

Train employees on fire safety measures using this toolbox talk

When conducting the toolbox talk on fire safety measures, tell employees that fires start with the right combination of heat, fuel and oxygen. Even the smallest fire causes damage and harm, says the Health&Safety Advisor.

Employees need to be aware of what's at stake.

Fires cause loss in the form of:

  • Property loss or damage – this means they could lose their jobs if your company's burnt to the ground.
  • Criminal offence – they could be found guilty of culpable homicide if they started a fire and people get killed.
  • Injury – they could be guilty of causing severe burns or even crippling other people (they could be charged with gross negligence).
  • Environmental loss or harm - they could be guilty of adding to the loss of natural resources, like trees, plants and animals.

Is there a way to reduce fire risks?

Yes, here are five things you should tell your employees:

  1. If you smoke, make sure you put out your cigarette and throw the butt into a fire friendly place (ashtray).
  2. Never smoke in an area where there's a combination of heat, fuel and oxygen.
  3. Never put oily rags near anything that generates heat. The combination of the oily rags (fuel), heat from a machine and oxygen could start a fire.
  4. Never store papers and files near electrical cables.
  5. Always ask yourself the question: Can this situation start a fire?

It's crucial to tell your employees to think about the work they do, the things they do and to ask themselves if a fire can start because of it. Doing this will help reduce the risk of a fire in your workplace.

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