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Revealed: Five employer obligations in an explosives factory

by , 20 December 2013
Although specialists develop and design explosives with safety in mind, they are inherently unstable and therefore dangerous. You must handle, process, store and transport them with the utmost care and attention to ensure the safety of your employees and others. Make sure you adhere to these five obligations if your company works with explosives.

The most important step when working with explosives is to ensure you adequately protect your employees, and that you take reasonable measures to provide a safe work environment.

Stick to these five requirements if your company works with explosives.

The Health & Safety Advisor says you must:

  1. Ensure you license your explosives workplace
  2. Ensure any work your staff performs in the danger area occurs under the general supervision of a person who has the knowledge and experience necessary to assess the hazards of such work.
  3. Establish, as far as is reasonable, any dangers you may expose your employees to, by the work they perform. This includes processing, using, handling, storing or transporting any article, or using any machinery in the danger area. You must also establish the precautionary measures staff must take when performing such work.
  4. Apply the provisions of the Explosives Regulations, made under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, Act 85 of 1993 and that of the Explosives Act, Act 26 of 1956.
  5. Adequately train your employee on the following before exposing him to hazardous substances i.e. explosives:
  • Potential sources of exposure
  • Potential detrimental effect of exposure
  • Protection measures he must take
  • Precautions he must take
  • Correct use of safety equipment
  • Medical surveillance he needs to observe
  • Good housekeeping habits he should adopt
  • Safe working procedures he must follow

The bottom line: Explosives are dangerous. Make sure you adhere to your legal obligations to help protect your employees.

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