Some hazards in the workplace are super obvious to spot. Other hazards are even more important to be aware of and, unfortunately, can be a lot trickier to notice. When we think of hazards, we most commonly think of safety hazards in our workplace that are obvious such as a tripping hazard or archive boxes that are stacked too high. We often overlook the equipment installed within our workplace that is designed to keep us safe and help us quickly and safely evacuate the building in the event of an emergency. Essential safety measures are installed in your building to assist you in the event of an emergency or fire.
Let’s go through a few fire hazards in the workplace and learn how to identify them.
Fire extinguishers that are damaged
Fire extinguishers are placed around the workplace and will be used to extinguish a small fire. They are commonly placed at designated exit points and near electrical switchboards as per AS2444. It is important to note that if your workplace has a fire extinguisher installed that the units are been inspected by a professional every 6 months to ensure they are available and safe to use in the event of a fire. A fire extinguisher can lose pressure, the cylinder can become over pressurised or the content (extinguishing agent) of the fire extinguisher could be discharged, deeming the extinguisher unsafe or inoperable for use. Regular inspections of these units will help identify any defective equipment and keep you safe in your workplace.
Non illuminated exit lighting
Emergency and exit lighting systems are installed to assist building occupants to evacuate a building in the event of mains power loss. When power is lost emergency and exit lighting is designed to run on battery back up to helping navigate you to your nearest exit. A very common hazard found in buildings is when an exit sign is not illuminated. When the building is dark or filled with smoke it can be extremally difficult to locate the exit if the sign is not illuminated. It is important for the integrity and reliability of the emergency and exit lighting that regular maintenance is carried out in accordance with AS2293.
Fire equipment that is obstructed by office furniture
Fire equipment must always be readily accessible for use. In the panic of a fire or when visibility is impaired due to toxic smoke it is imperative that equipment is free from obstruction. It is common in workplaces to find exit doors that are blocked, fire extinguisher and hose reels are obstructed by furniture and pallet racking that is stacked to close to fire sprinkler heads.
Smoke alarms not working
Smoke alarms should be tested regularly and back up batteries are required to be changed to make sure they’re functional in the event of a fire. In workplaces it’s not uncommon to find smoke alarms batteries have not been changed for years or the smoke alarm unit has been physically removed because it stated beeping for no reason. Regular maintenance of you smoke alarm will not only ensure that the alarm works but it will also reduce the number of nuisance alarms.
Allow a team of fire safety experts handle the testing of your essential safety measures so that you know for sure that your equipment will work when needed. Want to be extra sure that there are no hazards in your workplace? Contact the team at Essential Safety Solutions.