Anda di halaman 1dari 87

ALSTOM EHS Elevator

Training Programme

Environment, Health and Safety


Introductory Level

RRC BUSINESS TRAINING


27-37 St Georges Road, London SW19 4DS
Tel +44 (0)20 8944 3100 Fax +44(0)20 8944 7099
support@rrc.co.uk www.rrc.co.uk

This course is based on ALSTOM procedures and ILO best practice in environment, health and safety.
Where necessary, the principles expounded must be adapted to the legal requirements of certain
countries.

Module No. ALSTOM391.1.2

Copyright RRC Business Training


All rights reserved
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in
any form, or by any means, electronic, electrostatic, mechanical, photocopied or otherwise,
without the express permission in writing from RRC Business Training.

iii

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

C O N T E N T S
Unit
1

Title

Page

The Need for Environmental, Health and Safety Management


Introduction to Health and Safety Management
Definitions
Reasons for Health and Safety in the Workplace
Cost of Workplace Accidents
Introduction to Environmental Management
Terms and Definitions
Reasons for Managing Environmental Issues
Costs of Environmental Incidents
Conclusion
Exercises

Duties of Employers and Employees


Introduction
Responsibilities for Health, Safety and Environmental Issues
Purpose of an Environmental, Health and Safety Policy
Exercises

2-2
2-3
2-5
2-8

Common Hazards in the Workplace 1


Introduction
Common Workplace Hazards
Conclusion

1-2
1-3
1-5
1-6
1-7
1-8
1-9
1-10
1-11
1-12

3-2
3-3
3-14

Common Hazards in the Workplace 2


Introduction
Delivery, Handling and Storage of Fuels, Paints and Other
Chemicals
Storage and Use of Flammable Liquids
Working in Confined Spaces
The Working Environment

RRC Business Training

4-2
4-3
4-4
4-6
4-8

iv

Unit
5

Title

Page

Fire in the Workplace


Introduction
The Fire Triangle
Basic Fire Prevention Principles
Fire Precautions within the Workplace
Exercises

Reporting Hazards
Introduction
Why Report Hazards?
Who Should Report Hazards?
Informing Others of Hazards
Reducing the Risk
Exercises

6-2
6-3
6-4
6-5
6-6
6-9

Emergency Procedures
Introduction
Why Have Emergency Procedures?
What Should Go into Emergency Procedures?
Exercises

5-2
5-3
5-5
5-6
5-10

7-2
7-3
7-4
7-6

Personal Protective Equipment


Introduction
The Purpose of PPE
Common Types of PPE
Using PPE
Exercises

RRC Business Training

8-2
8-3
8-4
8-9
8-10

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

Unit 1 | The Need for Environmental, Health and


Safety Management
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this unit, you will have knowledge and understanding of:
! Common definitions used in health and safety.
! The reasons for health and safety in the workplace.
! The costs of workplace accidents.
! Common definitions used in environmental management.
! The reasons for managing the environment.
! The costs of not managing the environment.

Unit 1:

RRC Business Training

Unit 1 | The Need for Environmental, Health and Safety Management 1-1

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

INTRODUCTION TO HEALTH AND SAFETY


MANAGEMENT
Health and safety in the workplace is assuming a much higher profile these days. Virtually everyone
at work is aware of the existence of a large amount of health and safety legislation with which
employers and employees have to comply.
Trade unions have also taken an active interest in promoting health and safety as part of their policy
of improving the quality of working life.
Health and safety must be important if national governments and trade unions all take an active part
in promoting it. What, then, is health and safety?
The first part of this unit answers this question and explains why health and safety is needed in the
workplace.
The unit will then look at the importance of environmental management and discuss the reasons for
managing environmental issues and the possible consequences if this is not done.

RRC Business Training

Unit 1 | The Need for Environmental, Health and Safety Management 1-2

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

DEFINITIONS
Health and Safety
One generally accepted definition is:

Health and safety is a condition free from risk of injury or threat to health and well-being. It is
an objective to be achieved, not a natural state of affairs.

Accident
An accident has been defined as an undesired and unplanned event. Accidents may cause
personal injury; damage to property; environmental damage; or a mixture of these.
The important point about the word unplanned is that it covers both health and safety issues.
People readily equate accidents with safety - or rather the lack of it - but accidents and health seem
somehow different to most people. If we accept that the definition of an accident is an undesired
and unplanned event, then health problems do fit. Nobody sets out deliberately to contract a
disease such as dermatitis through skin contact at work. When this happens, it is an unplanned
event - an accident.
The major difference between health issues and safety issues is the timescale. Safety accidents
occur very quickly and recovery time is normally short. Health accidents occur slowly and recovery
time is often equally long.
Accidents are caused by exposure to hazards.

Hazard
A hazard is an article, substance or situation that has the potential to cause harm or damage.
The key word is potential. Not all hazards will cause harm all of the time. It depends on the
circumstances. For example, acid is a hazard, but if it is in a suitable container and locked away in a
secure storage locker, there is little chance of it causing harm. Other typical workplace hazards
include:

Working at height.

Noise.

Electricity.

Machinery.

Manual handling.

Spillages and obstructions in walkways.

Fire.

These are just a few examples. In a normal workplace there may be many more hazards.

RRC Business Training

Unit 1 | The Need for Environmental, Health and Safety Management 1-3

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

Hazards are not limited to situations where there is an immediate possibility of harm. They also
relate to situations where harm may occur as a result of long-term exposure to the situation.
In the workplace, hazards will always exist and in many cases it will be impossible to remove the
hazard altogether. For example, if an electric saw is used to cut pieces of timber, one of the hazards
associated with the task will be electricity. In this case, it is impossible to remove the electricity
hazard - the saw would not work! However, it is possible to reduce the risk from the hazard. By
ensuring that the saw is in good condition and is being used correctly, the risk of an electric shock
can be reduced.

Risk
The dictionary definition does not indicate any real difference between hazard and risk. The term
risk carries the idea of chance-taking. A risk can be taken after careful consideration of the
consequences, or just out of ignorance. The result of risk-taking can be fortunate or disastrous, or
anything in between.
A simple definition of risk might be the probability (or chance) of a hazard causing harm or
damage.
The amount of risk, as far as health and safety is concerned, is usually associated with the chance
(probability) that harm will occur, and the severity of harm.
For example, a trailing cable is a hazard and the associated risk is the chance of a trip or a fall over
the cable, accompanied by a particular degree of injury. The magnitude of risk is a product of how
likely this is to happen, together with an assessment of the likely severity of injury. The same
hazard may present different magnitudes of risk. For example, we can see how the same outcome
(say, a broken leg) can have a different risk magnitude depending on the cable position:

Hazard

Position

Trailing cable around edge of room

Trailing cable across the floor

Trailing cable across top of stairway

Magnitude of Risk
Low
Medium
High

In health and safety, the aim is to reduce to an acceptable level, the risk of any hazard turning into
an accident.

Danger
Danger is exposure to harm; something that causes peril.
Danger is a general word, but carries the idea of harm to a person. A dangerous occurrence is a
situation that could harm employees, of such a nature that there may be a legal requirement to
report it.

RRC Business Training

Unit 1 | The Need for Environmental, Health and Safety Management 1-4

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

REASONS FOR HEALTH AND SAFETY IN THE


WORKPLACE
Health and safety at work is achieved by preventing accidents and ill-health. Prevention is important
for the following reasons.

Humanitarian
Past experience has shown that most accidental deaths, injuries and illness could have been
prevented. There are few people who would not care, if their action or lack of action was shown to
result in suffering by someone else.
Attitudes in society are increasingly focusing on health, safety and environmental issues. The media
regularly expose instances of peoples health and safety being placed at risk. It is regarded as
totally unacceptable for an organisation to be seen to be putting profit before employee safety.
Linked with the humanitarian objective of accident prevention are employee morale, customer
relationships and public relations, all of which can be adversely affected by a companys poor
accident or ill-health record.

Legal
There is a vast amount of health and safety legislation worldwide covering all aspects of work, which
places health, safety and environmental duties on employers and employees. In addition, there may
be a legal system for compensation of people who have suffered injury or ill-health.

Economic
Where there is a clear legal obligation to make safety improvements, the cost is not difficult to
justify. Savings made by such improvements are not so easy to identify because:

The costs of injuries/damage are rarely estimated.

Many losses due to accidents are not recognised as such - the losses are simply absorbed into
various budgets.

There is rarely adequate information from which to calculate a reduction in losses due to
accidents.

Nevertheless, the costs arising from health and safety lapses can be significant, although direct
costs such as repairs to damaged property, medical costs, compensation and fines, are much easier
to quantify than indirect costs such as losses from downtime of equipment, effect on morale, etc.
Insurance premiums can also rise dramatically following an accident and many cost factors (fines,
for example) are not covered by insurance.

RRC Business Training

Unit 1 | The Need for Environmental, Health and Safety Management 1-5

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

COST OF WORKPLACE ACCIDENTS


The introduction of legislation, together with an extensive programme of publicity and advice on
accident prevention, has brought about a consistent reduction in the number of both fatal and nonfatal accidents for those at work. There is no room, however, for complacency.
The following global statistics, published by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) as part of
their SafeWork programme, show the scale of the problem:

Every year
2 million people die from occupational accidents and ill-health.
355,000 on-the-job fatalities half of these occur in agriculture. Other high risk sectors
are construction, mining and fishing industries.
270 million occupational accidents and 160 million occupational diseases.

Accident cost is essentially a negative measure. Some costs cannot be measured, such as loss of
morale.
The costs of accidents to an organisation can be put into two main categories, direct costs and
indirect costs.

Direct costs are directly associated with an accident and can include sick pay; replacing
damaged equipment, products or buildings; and possibly fines if legal action is taken.

Indirect costs as a result of an accident may include loss of business; payment of extra
overtime; delays in production; loss of goodwill; and downtime for accident investigation.

RRC Business Training

Unit 1 | The Need for Environmental, Health and Safety Management 1-6

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

INTRODUCTION TO ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT


Protecting the environment has become a global issue over the last few years. Damage to the
environment has been identified as one of the main topics of concern, not just amongst pressure
groups but for ordinary citizens.
Depletion of the ozone layer, global warming, deforestation and acid rain are all issues that almost
everybody has heard of. Whilst these issues may be of global concern and perhaps seemingly out of
the control of individuals, there are many local precautions and initiatives that can be taken to help
to contribute to the protection of the environment.
This unit will now discuss the reasons for managing the environment and the costs of failing to do
so. Firstly, however, we shall look at some common environmental terms and definitions.

RRC Business Training

Unit 1 | The Need for Environmental, Health and Safety Management 1-7

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

TERMS AND DEFINITIONS


Environment
This could be described as everything that surrounds us. This would include:

Air.

Land.

Water.

Living things: plants, animals and people.

Pollution
This can be defined as damage caused to the environment resulting from releases or escapes into
the environment.
Typical examples are industrial processes causing by-products that can have a local effect but also
contribute to global pollution such as exhaust emissions, smoke, pesticides and contaminated
waste materials.
Globally, industrial and agricultural activities account for more than 60% of air pollution and in
certain areas over 90% of all sea and water pollution.

Industrial Waste
The non-useful by-products of work - these can come in many forms including gases, liquids and
solids. The uncontrolled or illegal disposal of such wastes is a major contributor to environmental
pollution.

RRC Business Training

Unit 1 | The Need for Environmental, Health and Safety Management 1-8

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

REASONS FOR MANAGING ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES


As we have discussed previously, there are a number of reasons for ensuring good management of
health and safety matters. Those reasons apply equally to the management of environmental
issues.

Humanitarian
Environmentalists and the public are increasingly aware of environmental issues and will not
tolerate companies with a poor environmental track record and image. Businesses often operate in
built-up areas or near rural communities and it is important that they consider the effects they have
on local residents and other organisations.

Legal
There are a number of international and national laws, standards and other initiatives that help
ensure businesses do not act in an irresponsible way that can be harmful to the surrounding
environment.
These laws and standards cover such issues as:

Waste disposal and put a duty on companies to have suitable procedures for the disposal
process.

Emissions into the atmosphere and the need to reduce or, in some cases, eliminate the
emissions of certain substances.

Drainage and disposal of waste into drains and watercourses and allowing spillages to soak
into land.

Economic
Failure to meet the different legal requirements can result in very large fines. In addition, companies
can be forced to pay for cleaning where their lack of environmental control has led to pollution.
Investors will not fund businesses whose poor environmental image and policies could lose them
money.
By having good environmental procedures on such matters as waste reduction and energy
conservation, it is possible for a company to make substantial savings on its waste and energy
budgets.

RRC Business Training

Unit 1 | The Need for Environmental, Health and Safety Management 1-9

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

COSTS OF ENVIRONMENTAL INCIDENTS


Whilst the cost of an accident is usually measured in lost days due to injury, the result of an
environmental incident may not be so easily measured.
The harm caused by a spillage may not be apparent in the area where the spillage occurred. What is
more likely is that if the spillage gets into the local waterways, then fish, aquatic plants, riverside
animals and the food chain that sustains them are all likely to suffer damage. This can make life in
the area affected by the spillage unsustainable for many years.
Similarly, if a spillage is allowed to leach (soak) into the ground, this can damage vegetation and
poison the soil, making it unsuitable for growing or development.
The following well known case highlights the cost of one (large) environmental disaster.

Exxon Valdez 1989


An Exxon oil company tanker ran aground near the Alaskan oil terminal of Valdez. The incident
involved a spill of 11 million gallons of crude oil, which killed millions of birds, fish and other wildlife
and damaged 4,000 kilometres of coastline, a site of nature conservation and value. The costs to
Exxon were in the range of billions of dollars for clean-up, plus $3.2 billion in a lawsuit by Alaskans.
Whilst this incident was exceptional, the consequences to the environment of poor control are likely
to be high.

RRC Business Training

Unit 1 | The Need for Environmental, Health and Safety Management 1-10

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

CONCLUSION
In the introduction to this unit, we asked What is health and safety?. Part of the answer is ensuring
that nobody gets injured or becomes ill because of the work that they do or the workplace in which
they do it. By identifying the hazards associated with work, the risk of harm being done by those
hazards can be reduced.
If, in addition, everybody at work plays their part in ensuring nobody gets hurt, then that will go a
long way towards achieving a good standard of health and safety in the workplace
The need for good environmental management is equally important. Whilst the immediate outcome
of an environmental incident may not be so obvious, the long-term effect may be more disastrous
than an accident.
It is important that everybody within an organisation is aware of what is expected of them and this is
the topic of the next unit.

RRC Business Training

Unit 1 | The Need for Environmental, Health and Safety Management 1-11

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

EXERCISES
Exercise 1
A hazard is an article, substance or situation with the potential to cause harm or damage. Think of
your workplace and identify as many hazards as you can. Enter them in the table below.

Hazards

RRC Business Training

Unit 1 | The Need for Environmental, Health and Safety Management 1-12

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

Exercise 2
A small chemical manufacturing and distribution company has won an important order to supply a
large construction company with acid-based cleaning fluid. Whilst processing the first of over 200
orders, the only serviceable forklift truck owned by the company reversed into the warehouse wall.
The forklift truck was damaged and the wall was made unstable. In addition, three drums of fluid
split open, spilling the fluid onto the floor and into the drainage system.
For the above scenario, identify both the direct and indirect costs of the accident to the chemical
manufacturing and distribution company. Also comment on the possible environmental impact of
the accident.

DIRECT COSTS

INDIRECT COSTS

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT

RRC Business Training

Unit 1 | The Need for Environmental, Health and Safety Management 1-13

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

Unit 2 | Duties of Employers and Employees


Learning Outcomes
On completion of this unit, you will have knowledge and understanding of:
! Employers duties for environmental protection, health and safety.
! ALSTOM employees duties for environmental protection, health and
safety.
! The structure and purpose of an environmental, health and safety
(EHS) policy.
! The main requirements of the ALSTOM Power Turbo-Systems Plant
Business EHS Policy.

Unit 2:

(TERRI: FOOTERS SHOULD READ Duties of Employers and Workers.)

RRC Business Training

Unit 2 | Duties of Employers and Employees 2-1

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

INTRODUCTION
It is important that everybody within an organisation understands what their responsibilities for
health and safety and environmental protection are. This unit deals briefly with overall
responsibility within ALSTOM, before identifying the responsibilities of employees. It also covers
the structure of the ALSTOM Power Turbo-Systems Plant Business EHS Policy and the content of the
Policy Statement.
This unit includes extracts from ALSTOM documents and procedures. These are shown in italics.

RRC Business Training

Unit 2 | Duties of Employers and Employees 2-2

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

RESPONSIBILITIES FOR HEALTH, SAFETY AND


ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES
It is true to say that the employer in a company has a great deal of responsibility for ensuring that
employees are kept as safe as possible and that the environment is protected from damage by the
companys activities. These responsibilities are often endorsed by international and local law and
by the companys own policy. Whilst it is right that the employer should bear the main
responsibility, it is accepted that:
Everybody has a responsibility for their own and others safety.
Whilst at work, everybody should ensure that they work properly with the proper tools. They should
not take shortcuts or try to do too much (carry too much weight, for example). If they see somebody
doing something that they consider to be dangerous, they should report it.
Of equal importance is the responsibility to ensure that every individual within the company does
everything they can to protect the environment. This means following the necessary procedures,
work instructions and guidelines to ensure everything is done to prevent spillages, pollution and
contamination of the environment.
To help identify each individuals responsibilities, it is common practice to highlight them in the EHS
Policy. Reproduced below are the employees responsibilities from the ALSTOM Power TurboSystems Plant Business EHS Policy. (The duties of managers, supervisors, etc. are also covered in
this policy and are dealt with in depth at the Intermediate Level.)

Employees
All Employees will ensure that:

They are fully conversant with this Environmental, Health and Safety Policy.

They co-operate with the Business in meeting its statutory duties.

They take reasonable care of themselves and others who may be affected by their acts or
omissions.

No one intentionally or recklessly interferes with or misuses anything provided in the interest of
health and safety.

All environmental incidents, accidents, dangerous occurrences and near misses are
immediately reported to their line manager.

They are fully conversant with all Fire Procedures applicable to the area in which they are
working.

All equipment provided for personal safety is used and maintained in a condition fit for that
use, and any defects reported immediately to management.

Where an employee identifies any condition which in his or her opinion is hazardous, the
situation is immediately reported to their immediate manager.

RRC Business Training

Unit 2 | Duties of Employers and Employees 2-3

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

When local management cannot resolve a hazardous situation, they get in touch with their EHS
Representative whose name is circulated.

During the course of their normal duties, they use equipment and facilities that are fit and
proper for the intended purpose in a safe, correct manner, only as provided within the following
categories:

Arranged, provided and/or otherwise approved by the Company;

Provided by the customer with specific authorisation that they may be used by employees
of the Company;

Provided for unrestricted use by members of the general public.

RRC Business Training

Unit 2 | Duties of Employers and Employees 2-4

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

PURPOSE OF AN ENVIRONMENTAL, HEALTH AND


SAFETY POLICY
One of the most important documents relating to environmental and safety issues within an
organisation is the Environmental, Health and Safety Policy. This document should be the
cornerstone of health and safety and environmental management, laying out what the companys
health and safety and environmental targets are, who within the company will help achieve those
targets and how they will be achieved.
It is common for companies to have a combined environmental, health and safety policy comprising
three parts:

The environmental, health and safety policy statement.

The organisation section.

The arrangements.

Policy Statement
This is a short statement produced by the top management of a company to describe their
commitment to protection of the environment and ensuring good health and safety standards within
the workplace. It also often reminds the employees of their responsibilities for health and safety
and the environment. The statement is normally dated and signed by the head of the company.

Organisation
This section identifies who has specific environmental, health and safety responsibilities within the
company. It will very often contain an organisational chart and give details, either by name or
position, of those with responsibilities. Typical identified responsibilities might include Safety
Officer, Fire Wardens, First-Aiders, etc. It will usually lay down general responsibilities for employees
who have not been given specific EHS responsibilities (see the ALSTOM example in the previous
section).

Arrangements
This section gives details on how health and safety and environmental issues are to be addressed
within the organisation. Typical topics to be included in this section are:

Emergency procedures - fire, explosion, spillage, etc.

Accident reporting.

Safe use of machinery.

Hazardous substances.

Manual handling.

Training, etc.

RRC Business Training

Unit 2 | Duties of Employers and Employees 2-5

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

It is common for the arrangements to be produced as separate work instructions, guidelines or


procedures.
It is important that the EHS policy is kept up-to-date to ensure that the current practice within the
organisation is reflected accurately.
The ALSTOM Power Turbo-Systems Plant Business EHS Policy Statement is reproduced on the next
page.

RRC Business Training

Unit 2 | Duties of Employers and Employees 2-6

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

Environmental, Health and Safety Policy Statement


The Plant Business of ALSTOM Power Turbo-Systems is committed to the following:
1. Seeking and maintaining a safe, healthy and environmentally sound
workplace for our employees, contractors, visitors and others that may be
affected by our actions.
2. Developing and promoting a pro-active environmental, Health and Safety
(EHS) culture at all of its locations.
We aim to achieve this through our EHS Management System by ensuring:
! Sufficient education and training of our employees to allow them to safely
perform their tasks
! There is demonstrable commitment to EHS by Senior Management
! A process of continual improvement in EHS Performance, including pollution
prevention
! Suitable and sufficient resources are provided to allow us to deliver on our EHS
objectives and remain committed to this Policy
! We establish metrics to measure our EHS performance
! Communication with our employees, customers, suppliers, the community and
other stakeholders
! We shall as a minimum comply with the requirements of all applicable EHS
regulatory requirements and the requirements of ALSTOM.
Within the business EHS is a Line Management Responsibility with overall
responsibility residing with the Vice Presidents Plant Operations and Plant Sales. In
addition we expect all our employees to take responsibility of EHS and as such we
expect them to:
! Co-operate fully with supervisors and managers
! Respect and follow our EHS processes
! Promptly report accidents, incidents and other potential safety hazards
The Vice President Plant Operations and the Vice President Plant Sales commit to
reviewing and if necessary updating this policy on an annual basis. This policy is
available upon request to the general public.
Signed:

RRC Business Training

Unit 2 | Duties of Employers and Employees 2-7

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

EXERCISES
Exercise 1
Think about your workplace. Who has specific responsibilities for health and safety and
environmental protection? List them below.

RRC Business Training

Unit 2 | Duties of Employers and Employees 2-8

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

Exercise 2
For each of the following duties of an employee, provide an example which relates to your
workplace.
Duty

Example

Not to put yourself or others at risk

To co-operate with the employer

Not to misuse or interfere with anything


provided for health and safety

To report unsafe conditions

RRC Business Training

Unit 2 | Duties of Employers and Employees 2-9

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

Unit 3 | Common Hazards in the Workplace 1


Learning Outcomes
On completion of this unit, you will have knowledge and understanding of:
! The more common hazards in typical workplaces.
! The main causes of injury and ill-health in the workplace.
! ALSTOM requirements for specific hazardous work.

Unit 3:

(TERRI: PLEASE AMEND FOOTERS TO Common Hazards in the Workplace


1.)

RRC Business Training

Unit 3 | Common Hazards in the Workplace 1 3-1

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

INTRODUCTION
We have already looked at the meaning of hazard. It is something with the potential to cause harm
or damage.
In every workplace, there are many hazards. Some of these are more common than others. Common
workplace hazards include slips, trips and falls; manual handling; construction work; working at
height; vehicles; machines; excavations; chemicals; electricity ; and fire. If employees are exposed
to hazards then it may be only a matter of time before somebody is injured or suffers ill-health.
Typical injuries include cuts, burns, bruises, pulled muscles, etc. More serious injuries include
amputation, slipped discs, eye injuries, etc. Ill-health can range from dermatitis (inflammation of
the skin) and deafness to asthma and cancer.
This unit looks at the hazards and how injuries and ill-health may be caused. (Fire is dealt with
separately in Unit 5.)

RRC Business Training

Unit 3 | Common Hazards in the Workplace 1 3-2

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

COMMON WORKPLACE HAZARDS


Slips, Trips and Falls
Most accidents in the workplace are caused by people tripping over or slipping up on objects or
substances left on the floor. Risks encountered within the workplace are often due to relatively
simple hazards such as trailing cables or materials and equipment left lying around. We call this
poor housekeeping. It frequently results in slips, trips and falls and hence injuries to employees
and others.
For example:

A wet floor caused by substances (oil, water, etc.) leaking from an overturned container can
cause someone to slip.

Tools and materials left lying on the floor during maintenance work can easily go unnoticed and
cause a trip.

Poor lighting may obscure a pile of waste material that has been allowed to build up and
someone may have a fall as a result.

When using electrical equipment, the trailing leads can cause a person to trip.

Employers must take steps to control the risk of slips and falls. The saying a place for everything
and everything in its place does much to promote a safe workplace. Keeping work areas clear of
obstructions minimises the risk of trips and falls, while the immediate clear-up of spillages reduces
the likelihood of slips.
Whilst the majority of injuries caused by trips and slips are usually relatively minor, any type of fall
can result in a major injury. If it is a fall from a height, then the chance of serious injury increases.
ALSTOM have a working procedure for working at height and this is referred to later in this unit.
It is a fact that the majority of accidents fall into the category of slips, trips and falls and if they can
be prevented, then the number of workplace injuries will be reduced dramatically.
Dont forget that everybody is responsible for health and safety, so if you see something that may
cause a slip, trip or fall, report it or take action to ensure that nobody can be hurt.

Manual Handling
Manual handling means moving objects by using muscular strength and body weight. It may involve
lifting, pushing, pulling, carrying and lowering. Examples are hospital nurses lifting patients;
delivery men transferring goods from vehicles to buildings; employees moving equipment, bins of
components, oil drums or gas bottles.
Such activities put employees at risk from:

Incorrect lifting.

Lifting too heavy a weight.

Dropping objects on feet.

RRC Business Training

Unit 3 | Common Hazards in the Workplace 1 3-3

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

More than a third of the accidents reported each year to the enforcing authorities are associated
with manual handling. While fatal manual handling accidents are rare, accidents resulting in a
major injury such as a fractured arm are more common, accounting for approximately 6% of all major
injuries. On average, each injury results in 20 days off work. These accidents happen wherever
people are at work - on farms and building sites, in factories, offices, warehouses, hospitals, banks,
laboratories and while making deliveries.
The most common manual handling injuries are:

Sprain or strain, often in the back, from working unused muscles too hard or lifting incorrectly.

Damage to the gel-like discs between vertebrae in the back, which impairs their cushioning
ability. Eventually the vertebrae rub together, irritating or damaging spinal nerves. This is
commonly known as a slipped disc.

Hernias (ruptures in the abdominal wall) caused by strains from lifting.

Cuts to hands from lifting sharp or rough loads.

The degree of risk will depend on the following factors:

Generally, the heavier the load, the higher the risk of back injury from manual handling.

Small loads that are easy to grasp generally cause less of a risk than large, awkwardly shaped
loads. However, it is more likely that you will attempt to move these without fully considering
the lift.

If you have to carry out manual handling while in an awkward posture, or while seated, the risks
of back injury are greater.

The higher, lower, or wider you have to reach to pick up the load or put it down, the higher the
risk.

If you have to twist your body, or reach over, during manual handling, the risk of injury is
higher.

Having to carry out a manual handling operation more than 30 times per hour increases the risk
of injury.

Anything which makes the manual handling more difficult increases the risk of back, or other,
injuries; for example, uneven floors or having to carry loads from one level to another.

Individual physical strength, height and reach.

Wherever possible, try to avoid manual handling. This may be by using a mechanical aid such as a
barrow or trolley. Where manual handling cannot be avoided, injuries can be reduced by ensuring
that the correct lifting procedures are used. This might mean having help to lift awkward or large
objects.

Construction Work
One of the most dangerous industries is construction work. Whilst globally, the majority of fatal
accidents occur in agriculture, in many developed countries 80% or more of all fatal accidents take
place on construction sites.
RRC Business Training

Unit 3 | Common Hazards in the Workplace 1 3-4

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

Construction and demolition are high-risk activities which involve working in exposed situations,
often below or above ground level. The site itself is in a state of continual change and people are
inclined to concentrate on their own particular job, without much regard to what others may be
doing. The skill standards of other workers, who are often subcontractors, are unknown and there is
a marked tendency for corner-cutting at every opportunity.
Accident statistics show that a considerable number of employees fall from roofs and through roofs
during construction and maintenance work.
On construction sites there may also be hazards from various types of mobile plant and vehicles,
such as:

Lift trucks.

Mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs).

Cranes.

Delivery vehicles.

Drivers must always be fully trained and competent. Plant and vehicles must be regularly checked
and maintained and safely used and loaded.

Working at Height
Tasks involving working at height may range from changing a light bulb to repairing a roof. In all
situations, some form of access equipment will be required, be it a set of steps or scaffolding.
Whatever the situation, be sure that you are aware of the dangers involved and the precautions that
must be followed to reduce the risk.
The majority of accidents involving falls from roofs occur mainly during small routine jobs. The
hazards include:

Falling from and through roofs during construction and maintenance work.

Falling from the edges of sloping roofs.

The effect of wind strength the full force of wind operates at roof level.

Collapse of a roof not designed to take the weight of an employee resulting falls have caused
severe injuries and fatalities.

Where the use of scaffolding is involved, the risks arise from:

Falls of individuals.

Falling materials.

Partial collapse of a scaffold.

Correct erection, maintenance and use of all working platforms is essential if accidents are to be
prevented.

RRC Business Training

Unit 3 | Common Hazards in the Workplace 1 3-5

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

If a ladder or set of steps is used for access, first examine the


ladder or steps to make sure that they are not damaged in any
way and that there is some method of anchoring them so that
they remain stable and do not move. Ladders should be sited on
level ground and ideally should be secured in some manner to
prevent them moving. Where this is not possible or practicable,
then you must get help from a colleague to steady the ladder or
steps when in use. Do not use equipment that is unsuitable for
the job. If in doubt as to the safety of the operation, ask your
supervisor for advice.

Ladder Secured
Preventing Falls from Height
Scaffolds and other types of working platform must be guarded and have toeboards fitted to prevent
falls of people and objects. Loading ramps and mezzanine floors used for unloading vehicles or for
storing materials must be fitted with some form of barrier to prevent people or materials falling off.
When working at height, where there is no practicable means of preventing such falls, then there
must be alternative facilities to prevent injury if you do fall. The general name for this is fall arrest
equipment; it can be in the form of a net or a specialised body harness and rope.

ALSTOM Reference
Power Turbo-Systems
PPEA-GL-002 Working at Elevated Places

RRC Business Training

Unit 3 | Common Hazards in the Workplace 1 3-6

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

Movement of Vehicles
The movement of vehicles in and around the
workplace causes considerable danger to
employees and others. These may be in the form
of delivery vehicles or they may consist of onsite vehicles for the movement of materials or
goods. Forklift trucks, dumper trucks and
delivery lorries or vans all come within this
classification.

Separation of Vehicles and Pedestrians


The main risk is of being struck by a moving vehicle. Where possible, pedestrians and vehicles
should be kept separate with clearly marked routes for each. If a driver needs directions, ensure
that you are in a safe position to the side of the vehicle before the operation begins. Warning should
be given of possible dangerous movements, e.g. reversing. It is common for vehicles to have
audible and visual warnings fitted. For example, a vehicle may have a horn or buzzer that operates
when it is reversing.
When vehicles are required to manoeuvre on site, it is good practice to have a person outside the
vehicle to guide the driver. Care must be taken to ensure that the person doing the guiding is not
put in danger.

Machines
There are many types of machinery used in workplaces. These can range from relatively small
machines such as electric drills and angle grinders to very large machines such as earth movers,
cranes and forklift trucks. Regardless of the type of machine, there are two types of hazard
associated with them - mechanical and non-mechanical.

Mechanical Hazards
Mechanical hazards may cause injury as a result of:

Contact or entanglement with the machinery.

Trapping between the machine and any material or fixed structure.

Contact or entanglement with any material in motion.

Being struck by ejected parts of the machine or materials.

RRC Business Training

Unit 3 | Common Hazards in the Workplace 1 3-7

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

Contact with
abrasive
surface

Entanglement

Ejection - disintegration of
wheel
In-running trap with
incorrectly
positioned work rest

Ejection sparks & debris

Mechanical Hazards
To prevent contact with dangerous parts of machinery and injury from machinery, guards or
protective devices are used. These prevent access to the dangerous parts of a machine and prevent
machinery from operating in an unsafe manner.
Guards and other protective devices are fitted for your protection and should not be removed. Under
no circumstances should equipment be operated without its guards being in place.
Guards rarely provide 100% protection on their own, however, and will require safe operational
procedures to be followed. All machines should be supplied with an operators manual. If, as part
of your work routine, you have to operate equipment, locate the manual and be sure you are fully
familiar with the workings of the machine. If the machine is complex, ask your manager for training
to be given.

Non-Mechanical Hazards
These include the following:

Heat from an exhaust pipe or other part of a machine - you will know that when a car has been
running, the exhaust pipe becomes very hot and will burn you if touched.

Substances, such as sawdust, can be given off when using a machine. This can be very
damaging to health. Also, some machines use substances such as oil to help them operate
more efficiently. Again, this can cause health problems.

Noise and vibration from the machine, for example a pneumatic drill is both very noisy and
produces a lot of vibration which is felt by the operator.

Excavations
It is common for any construction project to include excavation work. An excavation can range from
a small, shallow hole to large civil engineering projects such as tunnels. Although there is obviously
a difference in the risks posed by these two extremes, the hazards associated with excavations
remain the same.

RRC Business Training

Unit 3 | Common Hazards in the Workplace 1 3-8

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

Collapse
One of the main concerns when digging and working in an excavation is the danger of collapse of the
sides and the possible ingress of spoil from the excavation. Care must be taken to ensure that the
spoil removed from the excavation is placed well away from the side or, preferably, removed until
required for backfilling. To prevent collapse of the excavation, all care must be taken to ensure that
the sides are shored adequately, unless the excavation has been dug in such a way as to make
shoring unnecessary.

Falls into Excavations


To prevent the possibility of people falling into an excavation, substantial guarding should be
erected on all sides that allows pedestrians to approach the excavation. Additionally, the guarding
should have toeboards to prevent material such as stones being kicked into the excavation.
If vehicles are operating in the area, it may be necessary to position wheel stops (a railway sleeper is
often used) to prevent vehicles getting too close to the side of the excavation.

Buried Services
A number of injuries, as well as a lot of inconvenience, are caused by hitting buried services whilst
excavating. Typical underground services include electricity cables, water and gas pipes, and more
commonly cable services and all should be identified, as far as possible, before excavation starts.
This may be by checking site plans, using cable detectors or liaising with the service providers.

Poor Air Quality


An excavation can often be designated a confined space due to the possibility of a build-up of
heavier-than-air gas such as carbon dioxide or the depletion of oxygen. If these conditions apply, it
may be necessary to monitor the air quality by using a gas detector to indicate a change of
condition.
Extreme care must be taken when working in or near excavations. Due to the high risks associated
with this work, it is usual to work under a permit-to-work system.

ALSTOM Reference
Power Turbo-Systems
PPEA-GL-009 Management of Excavations

RRC Business Training

Unit 3 | Common Hazards in the Workplace 1 3-9

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

Working with Hazardous Substances


At work, people can encounter a wide range of chemicals capable of
damaging their health. Many chemicals are used directly in industrial
processes; some are used in service functions (e.g. cleaning or
decorating); and some are given off as by-products of processes.
All chemicals are harmful in some way. Contact with chemicals may
either have an immediate serious impact on health, perhaps after a
single overexposure, or cause a chronic and disabling disease after
repeated exposure, possibly with no apparent effect on health until
many years have passed.

When are Chemicals Hazardous?


A chemical may be hazardous when it is in a form
where it can be:

Inhaled.

Swallowed (either directly or from settling


on foods or from eating with contaminated
fingers).

Absorbed through the skin or via the eyes


(either directly or from contact with
contaminated surfaces or clothing).

In contact with the surface of the skin or


eyes.

Injected into the body by high pressure


equipment or contaminated sharp objects.

How Harmful are Chemicals?


To minimise the risk from chemicals, we first need to find out just how harmful a chemical is. The
form of the chemical will affect the level of risk, as will the period of time you are exposed to its
effects. Fumes and vapours tend to be more hazardous than powders or liquids, while the solid or
granular form is the least hazardous.
Remember that a harmful chemical is sometimes difficult to detect:

It may be in an unlabelled container.

It may be odourless, e.g. carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide.

The concentration of a vapour or a gas may increase so gradually that it is not detected, unless
someone enters the work area and notices the smell.

RRC Business Training

Unit 3 | Common Hazards in the Workplace 1 3-10

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

The chemical may be mixed with another, causing a hazardous reaction (e.g. bleach when
mixed with toilet cleaner will give off chlorine gas which is very poisonous).

It has been estimated that two-thirds of all industrial injuries from chemicals are skin injuries
caused by contact with liquid acids and alkalis which are corrosive. Accumulations of dust present a
serious risk of explosion and toxic dust can cause serious lung damage and general poisoning.
Employees are at risk from toxic fumes also, especially from lead, cadmium, zinc, copper and
magnesium.
Chemicals should always be handled safely, using personal protective equipment (we discuss this in
Unit 8) and other safety measures provided.

ALSTOM Reference
Power Turbo-Systems
PPEA-GL-005 Control of Hazardous Substances
The subject of storage and handling of flammable liquids and chemicals is dealt with in Unit 4.

RRC Business Training

Unit 3 | Common Hazards in the Workplace 1 3-11

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

Electricity
Electricity is used widely both in domestic and work situations. When electricity is used properly,
ensuring that all electrical appliances are in good condition, then it is unlikely to cause harm. If,
however, it is used without proper care or appliances are faulty, then very serious injury and damage
can result.
The three main hazards associated with electricity are contact with live wiring giving rise to shock,
burns or fatal injuries; fire; and explosion.
The normal electricity supply can be lethal. A live conductor can become exposed due to someone
removing a cover or due to damage, causing an electric shock to a person making contact with the
conductor. Wet or damp conditions or a high proportion of earthed metalwork in the surrounding
environment add to the hazard.
Electrical appliances should not be used if they are damaged the casing may be cracked, the lead
may be frayed or cut or the plug may be damaged. By using an electrical appliance that is damaged,
it is possible to come into contact with live wires or parts of the appliance that may be live.
Fires of electrical origin can be caused by:

Leakage of current due to poor or inadequate electrical


insulation, e.g. damaged insulation on flexible cables can lead
to leakage of current.

Overheating of electrical equipment and cables due to


overloading of conductors, e.g. the use of multi-outlet adapters
into which a number of appliances are plugged, or flexible
cable left wound onto cable drums when current flows.

Overheating of flammable materials too close to electrical


equipment which is otherwise operating normally, e.g. waste
paper next to electrical equipment which may have hot
surfaces while in operation.

Overloaded Adapters

Ignition of flammable materials by electrical


equipment which is not operating correctly, e.g. arcing or sparking electrical equipment located
in or adjacent to flammable vapours or fuel gas.

Mechanical damage, e.g. the use of trailing leads or dropped equipment.

Any of the above conditions may lead to an explosion if there is a sufficient mixture of vapour or gas
and air.
To prevent electrical accidents:

Equipment selected should be suitable for the environment.

Protective devices such as circuit breakers should be installed.

Equipment should be used correctly.

Equipment should be tested and maintained regularly.

RRC Business Training

Unit 3 | Common Hazards in the Workplace 1 3-12

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

ALSTOM Reference
Power Turbo-Systems
PPEA-GL-003 Working with Electricity

RRC Business Training

Unit 3 | Common Hazards in the Workplace 1 3-13

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

CONCLUSION
This concludes Unit 3 which has looked at some common hazards in the workplace and has
concentrated in more detail on those which are considered to be of specific risk to ALSTOM
employees. You should now go on to Unit 4 which deals with two more hazards.
There is no end-of-unit exercise as, after Unit 4, you will be required to complete the first of two short
assignments.

RRC Business Training

Unit 3 | Common Hazards in the Workplace 1 3-14

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

Unit 4 | Common Hazards in the Workplace 2


Learning Outcomes
On completion of this unit, you will have knowledge and understanding of:
! Problems associated with the handling and storage of flammable
liquids and chemicals.
! The hazards of working in a confined space.
! ALSTOM requirements for working with these hazards.
! Awareness of workplace environmental factors that may cause
accidents.

Unit 4:

(TERRI: PLEASE AMEND FOOTERS TO Common Hazards in the Workplace


2. FOOTERS SHOULD ALSO SHOW Unit 4 RATHER THAN Unit 5 AND PAGE
NUMBERS NEED AMENDING.)

RRC Business Training

Unit 4 | Common Hazards in the Workplace 2 4-1

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

INTRODUCTION
This unit continues with the topic of workplace hazards.
Two areas of particular concern on many ALSTOM sites are the handling and storage of flammable
liquids and chemicals and entry into confined spaces. This unit will look at the individuals
responsibilities when dealing with these hazards and highlight the precautions necessary.
The unit will also briefly look at the workplace environmental factors that may cause or contribute to
accidents.

RRC Business Training

Unit 4 | Common Hazards in the Workplace 2 4-2

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

DELIVERY, HANDLING AND STORAGE OF FUELS,


PAINTS AND OTHER CHEMICALS
In addition to the dangers of being exposed to chemicals (as discussed in the previous unit), there is
also a danger of spillage when they are being handled or if they are stored incorrectly. In order to
prevent spillages and the possibility of environmental damage, it is necessary to ensure that all
activities are carried out correctly.

Delivery and Handling


If chemicals are being delivered in bulk (by road tanker, for example) there are a number of issues to
consider:

Are all hose connections tight?

Is the chemical being discharged into the correct receiving tank?

Is the receiving tank big enough to take the delivery?

Are emergency spill kits available?

Is the work being supervised?

The transfer of chemicals is a high-risk operation and the chances of spillage are high if procedures
are not correctly followed.
Where the material is delivered in drums or containers, they must be handled in such a way as to
prevent damage and subsequent spillage. Suitable equipment for offloading drums and palletised
containers must be available and operated by trained and competent people.
Whatever form the substances are delivered in, suitable information regarding the substances must
be provided by the supplier. This is usually in the form of a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS).
These must be available for people who subsequently need to use the substance(s).

Storage
Whether chemicals are stored in tanks, drums or small containers, it is important to ensure that any
spillage will be contained and not allowed to run away into drains and watercourses. It is necessary
to provide some means of containing the spillage and this is normally in the form of bunding.
The purpose of bunding is to keep the spillage close to the source of the release. Bunding can be in
the form of a low wall totally enclosing the storage tank or area, or may be a pit into which the
spillage runs and collects. Containers and tins may be stored in a larger container such as a skip.
Whichever method is used, it should be large enough to contain any possible spillage.

RRC Business Training

Unit 4 | Common Hazards in the Workplace 2 4-3

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

STORAGE AND USE OF FLAMMABLE LIQUIDS


The delivery of bulk flammable liquids is a specialised job which may only be carried out by trained,
competent people. It is important, however, that when making a discharge, the operator is made
aware of site requirements regarding restriction of ignition sources, vehicle security during
discharge and location of emergency facilities. It is common practice to have a responsible person
nominated to oversee the delivery process, to ensure that site procedures are adhered to.

Storage
A very important aspect of flammable substance storage is the need to ensure that no possible
sources of ignition are allowed into the area. This means that smoking; the use of electronic
equipment such as mobile phones; certain vehicles and types of tools are prohibited.
Poor storage of flammable liquids has been responsible for many accidents, ranging from fires and
explosion to contamination of watercourses and rivers due to uncontrolled escape.
If flammable substances are being stored on site, it is important to ensure that this is done correctly
and that there is proper segregation of incompatible substances (those that may react with each
other), as well as of empty and full containers.
Wherever possible, the amount of flammable substances being stored will be kept to an absolute
minimum. In this way, if there is a spill then the consequences may be reduced. Similarly, if there is
a fire then there is less substance to burn.
Safe storage of flammable substances can be achieved by good general safety precautions with
attention being paid to:

Design and layout of the storage area.

Stacking properly and tidily.

Adequate fire precautions.

Means to deal with spillages.

Use of Flammable Liquids


When flammable liquids are being used, the biggest danger is from the escape of vapour and the
possibility of fire and explosion. To try to prevent this from happening, there are a number of
precautions that can be taken:

Only have the amount necessary in the workplace.

Replace the lid on the container to prevent the escape of vapour.

Ensure that there are no sources of ignition in the area.

Dispose of any contaminated rags, cleaning cloths, etc. properly.

Proper control of flammable substances will help to prevent fire and explosion.

RRC Business Training

Unit 4 | Common Hazards in the Workplace 2 4-4

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

ALSTOM Reference
Power Turbo-Systems
PPEA-GL-006 Delivery, Handling and Storage of Fuels and
Chemicals on Site

RRC Business Training

Unit 4 | Common Hazards in the Workplace 2 4-5

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

WORKING IN CONFINED SPACES


The term confined space has a wide meaning in industry. Some situations are fairly obviously
confined spaces (such as reaction vessels, closed tanks, large duct sewers, and enclosed drains).
Others which are less obvious can be equally dangerous:

Open-topped tanks, which can include bunded areas with high walls.

Vats (particularly where heavier-than-air gases or vapours may be present).

Closed and unventilated rooms.

Large furnaces and ovens in which a dangerous accumulation of gases can build up, because of
the restricted air circulation, even though the door is left open.

Serious accidents have occurred and continue to occur whilst work is being done inside confined
spaces. The main risks are those associated with toxic and/or flammable gases, fumes and
vapours; and neglect or ignorance of necessary precautions, which can lead very easily to tragic
results. A significant number of accidents are fatal and multiple fatalities are not uncommon.
Not knowing the dangers of working in confined spaces has led to the deaths of many employees.
Often the dead include not only those working in the confined space but also those who, not
properly equipped, try to rescue them. Work in confined spaces requires skilled and trained people
to ensure safety.
Working space may be restricted, bringing employees into close contact with other hazards, such as
moving machinery, electricity or steam vents and pipes. The entrance to a confined space (a
manhole, for example) may make escape or rescue in an emergency more difficult.

Hazards of Working in a Confined Space


Some confined spaces may be hazardous because:

Manholes, tunnels, trenches, etc. in chalky ground can partly fill with carbon dioxide gas,
forcing out the breathable air.

Poisonous or flammable gases can collect in manholes, etc. in contaminated ground; e.g. old
gasworks, plating works and ground near underground petrol tanks and old refuse tips.

Sludges and other residues in tanks, pits, etc., if disturbed, may partially fill the confined space
with dangerous gases.

There is a danger of substances entering the confined space if connected by pipelines to an


external supply.

The work that is done inside the confined space can add to the danger. Typical examples include the
following:

Some painting work and the use of adhesives can produce dangerous amounts of solvent
vapour, which can cause dizziness and impair judgment. Such solvents are often flammable,
which can increase the risk of fire.

RRC Business Training

Unit 4 | Common Hazards in the Workplace 2 4-6

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

Operations such as pipe freezing, which produce heavy cold gases that can push out the
available breathable air.

Liquefied petroleum gases (LPG) appliances and petrol and diesel engines which can produce
fumes and gases, which lead to the build-up of carbon monoxide gas. There is also a risk of fire
from leaking LPG cylinders or hoses.

Hot work, such as welding, gas cutting, burning, grinding, etc. can cause a build-up of gases
and deplete the oxygen in the confined space.

Precautions
Due to the hazardous nature of confined space work it is best practice, wherever possible, to avoid
entering the space. If an alternative method of working can be found, then this should be used.
Where entry cannot be avoided, then this should only be undertaken by trained employees. A risk
assessment must be carried out and suitable control measures implemented, to reduce the risk of
injury to a minimum.
It is common practice to issue a permit-to-work for this type of operation. The requirements of the
permit-to-work must be strictly adhered to.

ALSTOM Reference
Power Turbo-Systems
PPEA-GL-008 Work in Confined Spaces

RRC Business Training

Unit 4 | Common Hazards in the Workplace 2 4-7

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

THE WORKING ENVIRONMENT


Having looked at a number of hazards during this unit and the previous one, it is important to realise
that environmental conditions within the workplace may add to the problems experienced by
employees.
For example, poor lighting in the workplace can cause shadows, which might hide trip hazards.
Similarly, poor lighting may make more detailed work difficult.
Excessively hot or cold conditions may cause discomfort and contribute to lack of concentration and
misjudgment. Poor weather is also a factor, particularly when working in exposed conditions such
as at height or in excavations.
Whilst it is not necessary to go into any depth about these issues here, it is important to realise that
the working environment must be considered when looking to carry out work safely.

Note
There is no end-of-unit exercise as a short assignment follows.

RRC Business Training

Unit 4 | Common Hazards in the Workplace 2 4-8

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

Unit 5 | Fire in the Workplace


Learning Outcomes
On completion of this unit, you will have knowledge and understanding of:
! The fire triangle.
! Sources of combustible materials.
! Sources of ignition.
! Common fire hazards in the workplace.
! Basic methods of fire prevention.
! Typical workplace fire precautions.
! Specific ALSTOM procedure for fire prevention.

Unit 5:

(TERRI: FOOTERS SHOULD SHOW Unit 5 RATHER THAN Unit 4 AND


PAGE NUMBERS NEED AMENDING.)

RRC Business Training

Unit 5 | Fire in the Workplace 5-1

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

INTRODUCTION
Fire, when controlled, is a source of energy that is used worldwide in both domestic and workplace
applications. If fire is allowed to go out of control, however, it can cause severe damage to buildings
and materials, and injury and death to people.
For this reason, it is very important to prevent uncontrolled fires from starting and to have measures in
place to prevent injury, should a fire start.
This unit deals with these issues and starts by looking at how fire occurs.

RRC Business Training

Unit 5 | Fire in the Workplace 5-2

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

THE FIRE TRIANGLE


For fire to start, three things are needed:

Combustible material (or fuel) things that will burn.

A source of ignition (heat).

Oxygen.

This is usually shown by what is called the Fire Triangle.

The Fire Triangle


Fire can only happen if these three elements or legs (fuel, heat and oxygen) are present. If they are
not present, a fire cannot start. Alternatively, if a fire does start, then it can be extinguished by
removing one of the legs of the triangle. This is true for all fires.

Sources of Combustible Materials (Fuel)


In any workplace there are always combustible materials around. Some, however, do not burn as
easily as others. Petrol, for example, burns very easily, whilst it is far more difficult to set fire to
wood. It is therefore very important to identify the sources of combustible materials in your
workplace, to determine whether they burn easily or not.
Materials such as petrol, solvents, gases and paints are often called highly flammable because
they burn very easily. (Flammable means that it will burn.) Highly flammable materials tend to give
off vapours, which move away from the source, increasing the risk of fire.
Other materials that will burn, such as paper, plastics and other wrapping material, are often found
in piles of rubbish. It is common for fires to start when these materials have been left lying around
instead of being disposed of properly.

Sources of Ignition (Heat)


Any work that involves welding, cutting using a flame, grinding or brazing is referred to as hot
work. This is because the work is likely to produce a source of ignition that could start a fire. Care
must be taken when these activities are being carried out, to ensure there is no combustible material
in the area.

RRC Business Training

Unit 5 | Fire in the Workplace 5-3

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

Smoking is a common cause of fires, not only at work but also in the home. A carelessly discarded
match or cigarette can land on combustible material, causing a fire.
The use of electrical equipment such as drills, mobile phones and pagers can produce a spark that is
capable of igniting vapours from highly flammable materials. Simply operating an electric light
switch can have the same effect.
Any naked flame is capable of starting a fire, as can the heat from a hot plate or heater.
In a typical workplace, it is possible to identify many materials that burn and sources of ignition.
The following table gives some examples of both:
Combustible Materials
Petrol, paint, solvents, wood, plastic,
wrapping material, cloth, gas, paper,
furnishings

Sources of Ignition
Smoking, welding, cutting, electrical switches,
friction, naked flames

This just gives an indication of some of the hazards in the workplace that could lead to a fire if the
fire triangle is allowed to form.
Therefore, to prevent fire, smoking or welding should never be allowed where there are combustible
materials.

Sources of Oxygen
Oxygen is in the air all around us and so it is difficult to remove this element of the fire triangle.
There may also be other sources of oxygen, such as welding bottles and medical oxygen. Some
chemicals give off oxygen when they are heated, for example nitrates used in fertiliser.
Remember if the fire triangle cannot form, then a fire cannot start.

RRC Business Training

Unit 5 | Fire in the Workplace 5-4

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

BASIC FIRE PREVENTION PRINCIPLES


The main hazards associated with fire are:

Inhalation of toxic fumes produced by combustion.

Suffocation and loss of visibility due to smoke.

Burns due to heat or flames.

Suffocation due to lack of oxygen within the atmosphere.

Collapse of a building or structure due to failure of materials.

Prevention is always better than cure. With this in mind, stopping a fire happening in the first place
is always preferable to having to deal with one.
Bearing in mind the principle of the fire triangle (heat, fuel and oxygen), care must be taken to
ensure that it cannot form.
Simple prevention methods include:

Restricting smoking to designated areas and ensuring that matches and cigarettes are
disposed of properly, preferably in a suitable ash-tray or similar container.

Ensuring that electrical equipment is not used, if there is a possibility of flammable vapour
being present in the area.

Making sure that areas where hot work is being carried out are free from combustible material.

Not allowing rubbish to build up - all rubbish should be disposed of in suitable receptacles,
which should be frequently emptied.

Replacing lids and stoppers on containers which hold highly flammable substances.

Storing highly flammable substances in a suitable area and not leaving them lying around.

Ensuring that, after hot work has been carried out, the workpieces have cooled sufficiently not
to pose a fire threat.

Unplugging electrical equipment when not in use.

By carrying out these simple steps, the threat of fire can be reduced significantly.

RRC Business Training

Unit 5 | Fire in the Workplace 5-5

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

FIRE PRECAUTIONS WITHIN THE WORKPLACE


If a fire does start, then it is important to ensure that people can escape safely. The measures that
are put in place to allow this to happen are known as fire precautions.

Fire Extinguishers
One of the most common fire precautions is the fire extinguisher. These are suitable for fighting
small fires only and should only be used by people who have been trained in the proper use of them.
They should only be used if they do not put the person at risk from the fire.

Types of Fire Extinguisher


Note: Whilst most fire extinguisher bodies are red with a coloured band to identify the content, this
may not always be the case. The alternative colouring system has the following body colours:
Body Colour

Content

Red

Water

Blue

Dry Powder

Cream

Foam

Black

Carbon Dioxide

If in doubt, the label will also identify the content.

Water Extinguishers
These put out the fire (break the fire triangle) by taking away the heat leg of the triangle. They
should only be used on fires that contain solid material such as paper, wood, fabrics, etc. They
should never be used on fires that contain flammable liquids such as petrol or solvents. Similarly,
they should not be used on fires involving electrical equipment. They are often coloured red.

RRC Business Training

Unit 5 | Fire in the Workplace 5-6

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

Will have gauge

Water Extinguisher
Carbon Dioxide Extinguishers
These extinguishers contain liquid carbon dioxide, which turns to gas when it is released. They
remove the oxygen leg of the fire triangle by aiming the gas to take the place of air around the fire.
They are suitable for all types of fire but are not particularly successful outdoors, as the gas tends to
be blown away easily. They are often coloured black.

Carbon Dioxide Extinguisher


Dry Powder Extinguishers
These extinguishers work by covering the fire in powder, thus eliminating the air. Therefore, the
oxygen leg of the fire triangle is removed. They are suitable for all types of fire and are commonly
found in workplaces. They are often coloured blue.

RRC Business Training

Unit 5 | Fire in the Workplace 5-7

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

Dry Chemical Extinguisher (ABC)


Foam Extinguishers
Another common type of fire extinguisher contains foam. These are very suitable for putting out
burning flammable liquids such as petrol. They work by covering the surface with foam and
preventing oxygen from getting to the fuel. These extinguishers are often coloured cream.

Means of Escape from Fire


It is important that employees inside buildings
should have a recognised means of escape.
This is often referred to as the escape route.
It should lead a person from the fire to a place
of safety (assembly point), normally outside the
building.
On the escape route there may be fire doors.
These are designed to be kept closed to prevent
the spread of fire and, just as importantly,
smoke. They should not be confused with fire
exits, which are the final door to the place of
safety.

EXIT

The escape route should have signs that show


the way to the fire exit. The fire exit and
assembly point should also be clearly marked.

More than half of those who die in fires each year do so because of the effects of toxic, choking
smoke and not - as is generally supposed - because they burn to death. If escape routes are barred

RRC Business Training

Unit 5 | Fire in the Workplace 5-8

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

or blocked off, victims succumb to the fumes or become disorientated by smoke, get trapped and
then burn.

Emergency Procedures
An important part of a companys fire precautions is their emergency procedures. These tell people
what to do in case a fire starts.
Typically, they will state what to do and what not to do.
By following these simple procedures, you can avoid being hurt by fire.

ALSTOM Reference
Power Turbo-Systems
PPEA-GL-013 Fire Protection and Prevention on Site

RRC Business Training

Unit 5 | Fire in the Workplace 5-9

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

EXERCISES
Exercise 1
Think about your workplace and list below the combustible material and sources of ignition that are
present there.

Combustible Material

RRC Business Training

Sources of Ignition

Unit 5 | Fire in the Workplace 5-10

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

Exercise 2
Complete the table below.
Type of
extinguisher

Common
colour

What types of fire is it


suitable for?

Which leg of the


fire triangle does it
remove?

Water

Carbon dioxide

Dry powder

Foam

RRC Business Training

Unit 5 | Fire in the Workplace 5-11

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

Unit 6 | Reporting Hazards


Learning Outcomes
On completion of this unit, you will have knowledge and understanding of:
! The reasons for reporting hazards.
! Responsibilities for reporting hazards.

Unit 6:

RRC Business Training

Unit 6 | Reporting Hazards 6-1

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

INTRODUCTION
The main purpose of workplace health and safety is to prevent injury or ill-health to employees and
damage to structures and materials. One important part of this is to ensure that employees are
informed of hazards in the workplace.
With this in mind, this unit deals with reporting hazards.

RRC Business Training

Unit 6 | Reporting Hazards 6-2

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

WHY REPORT HAZARDS?


In every workplace, there are a number of activities going on at once. Take, for example, a building
site. There may be:

People working on roofs, scaffolds and ladders.

People working in excavations.

Welding and grinding operations.

Heavy vehicles and machinery moving around the site.

Electrical equipment being used.

Building material being moved.

Hazardous chemicals and flammable substances being used and stored.

Waste being accumulated.

Each of these operations (and there may be more) creates its own hazards. Whilst everybody should
know what they are doing, it is often the case that they are not aware of the work going on around
them. This can lead to a very dangerous situation.
In order to achieve as safe a workplace as possible, it is important that people are informed of all
hazards associated with the workplace. Accidents can happen because people do not know about
the hazards.
For example, if an electric drill is dropped and damaged or something is spilled on the floor, then
these must be reported to prevent somebody getting an electric shock or slipping on the spillage.

RRC Business Training

Unit 6 | Reporting Hazards 6-3

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

WHO SHOULD REPORT HAZARDS?


The simple answer is everybody, including employees and employers.
It is very often the case that it is a person working on a particular job who notices the hazards. He
may see that a ladder is not being used properly or that unprotected cables are lying across a road
that is used by vehicles. He may notice that people are smoking near a petrol store or that the
electrical tool that he is using has a damaged plug. If these facts are not reported, then they may
not be put right. This, in turn, could lead to an accident with somebody being injured. Because you
have seen a hazard, it does not mean that other people will see it.
Remember that we talked about the need for everybody to look after the health and safety of
themselves and others. By reporting hazards, you may prevent an accident.
Any hazard that has been identified should be brought to the attention of management. This might
be the shift supervisor, chargehand or line manager. It is then their responsibility to ensure that
action is taken so that any risk is reduced to a minimum.

RRC Business Training

Unit 6 | Reporting Hazards 6-4

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

INFORMING OTHERS OF HAZARDS


We can see that the employees need to be informed of hazards associated with the work that is
going on, but whose job is it to inform them and how can it be done?
Very often, if somebody sees a fellow employee about to do something that may be dangerous, they
will shout a warning to be careful. This is unsatisfactory, as there may be nobody around the next
time to give a warning.
It is necessary, therefore, to have a formal method of informing employees about the hazards they
may face whilst carrying out their work. Although employees have a part to play, the responsibility
for warning the employees rests with the employers. If you remember from a previous unit,
employers have a duty to look after the health and safety of their employees and must provide
suitable information to ensure this. You can help them achieve this by reporting hazards.

Methods of Informing the Workforce


There are many ways in which an employer can inform the
workforce. There may be formal training sessions, signs and
notices posted around the workplace, written instructions, etc.
Whichever method is chosen, the information must be clear.

RRC Business Training

Unit 6 | Reporting Hazards 6-5

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

REDUCING THE RISK


Once the hazard has been reported, it is then possible to take action to reduce the risk of injury from
that hazard.
If we think back to the list of jobs being carried out at the building site, we can decide how the risks
might be reduced.

People Working on Roofs, Scaffolds and Ladders


Make sure that:

They cannot fall off, by using harnesses and guardrails.

Roof ladders are provided.

The scaffolding is secure and properly erected.

Ladders are in good condition and properly secured.

Roof Ladders

People Working in Excavations


Make sure that:

Nothing can fall into the excavation.

The sides are supported.

Any buried cables or pipes have been identified.

RRC Business Training

Unit 6 | Reporting Hazards 6-6

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

Welding and Grinding Operations


Make sure that:

There are no flammable materials in the area.

The work is cool before leaving it.

There is a fire extinguisher nearby.

Heavy Vehicles and Machinery Moving Around the Site


Make sure that:

They have a designated route.

You do not work on that route.

Tools, equipment or building material do not block the route.

Electrical Equipment Being Used


Make sure that:

It is in good condition.

It has been given a visual check before use.

Cables do not cause a tripping hazard.

Cables are not lying in water.

Building Material Being Moved


Make sure that:

It is moved correctly.

It does not cause a tripping or obstruction hazard.

It is securely stored.

Hazardous Chemicals and Flammable Substances Being Used


and Stored
Make sure that:

Containers are properly closed after use.

No smoking or other sources of ignition are allowed in the area.

Storage areas are properly marked.

Incompatible substances are segregated.

RRC Business Training

Unit 6 | Reporting Hazards 6-7

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

Waste Being Accumulated


Make sure that:

Waste is deposited in the designated areas.

Where possible, suitable bins are used.

Nobody smokes in the area.

These are just some examples of ways in which risks may be reduced, but remember: it all starts by
reporting the hazards.

RRC Business Training

Unit 6 | Reporting Hazards 6-8

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

EXERCISES
Exercise 1
Imagine the following scenarios:
1.

A hole is being dug in the road to lay some pipes. The work only started that morning. A forklift
truck driver has been asked to take some materials to another part of the site, which means
going where the hole is being dug. The driver has not been told that there is work going on
there.

2.

There is work being carried out on a roof. There are no warning signs or barriers to inform
people below about this work. An employee walks directly below where the work is being
carried out.

For each of the above scenarios, write down what might happen.

RRC Business Training

Unit 6 | Reporting Hazards 6-9

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

Exercise 2
Think about your own workplace and try to identify means by which your employer gives you
information about health and safety.

RRC Business Training

Unit 6 | Reporting Hazards 6-10

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

Unit 7 | Emergency Procedures


Learning Outcomes
On completion of this unit, you will have knowledge and understanding of:
! The importance of having proper emergency procedures.
! The ALSTOM generic emergency procedures.
! The importance of understanding and practising those procedures.

Unit 7:

RRC Business Training

Unit 7 | Emergency Procedures 7-1

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

INTRODUCTION
Even in the safest and most environmentally considerate workplaces, things can go wrong. A fire
may start, somebody may be injured or there may be an environmental incident. If this does
happen, it is important that everybody knows what to do and where to go.
In many countries it is the law that every company has emergency procedures outlining what should
be done. This unit deals with the importance of emergency procedures. It looks at the ALSTOM
generic emergency procedures, what should go into emergency procedures and the need to
understand and practise them.

RRC Business Training

Unit 7 | Emergency Procedures 7-2

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

WHY HAVE EMERGENCY PROCEDURES?


This can be answered by looking at legal, moral and economic reasons for having them.
Legal: as we have discussed before, the employer has a duty to ensure the health and safety of all
workers (employees and contractors) and to take certain measures to protect the environment. This
includes the provision of proper information. To ensure that everyone knows what to do in the case
of an emergency, the employer must provide adequate procedures that explain what should be
done.
Moral: if an emergency did arise and somebody was hurt or a river was polluted as a result of not
knowing what to do, the company would not be looked at in a very good light by other workers or the
public.
Economic: an injury caused by an emergency for which there were no procedures could have huge
economic consequences for the company. As well as the possibility of fines and compensation for
the injured person, there is a likelihood of lost work through other companies seeing that there were
no proper health and safety procedures in place. The same would be true for an environmental
accident.
Emergency procedures are necessary to ensure the safety of everyone and the protection of the
environment.

RRC Business Training

Unit 7 | Emergency Procedures 7-3

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

WHAT SHOULD GO INTO EMERGENCY PROCEDURES?


This very much depends on the emergencies that may happen. Fire is a common occurrence and this
is the most usual type of emergency procedure that you will come across. Employees in the oil and
gas industries could also have emergency procedures for gas escape or explosion. Other
procedures may highlight the action to take in case of an injury to an employee.
Because it is important to make sure that all of the possible emergencies on site are covered,
ALSTOM has devised a generic emergency procedure which should be adapted to meet the needs of
the specific site.

ALSTOM Reference
Power Turbo-Systems
PPEA-WI-005 Attachment 1 Emergency Procedure
Note
It is important to ensure that you are aware of the specific requirements of the site that you are
working on.
Regardless of the type of emergency, the procedures are designed to tell you what to do. The
procedures should be easy to remember and should be practised from time to time. A typical
procedure is outlined below.

Fire Evacuation Procedure


On hearing the alarm, make your way immediately and without panic to the assembly point by the
nearest exit.

If possible, close all windows and as you leave, close the door behind you.

Do not stop to gather personal belongings.

Do not use lifts.

Do not re-enter the building until you are told it is safe to do so.

Practising the Procedures


Employers must ensure that all employees are trained in and understand the correct procedures to
follow in the event of an emergency. There must be a plan and it must be known both through
training and practice and written instructions. If you are uncertain about what to do, confusion will
reign and people could die.
In the case of fire, for example, it is very important that you are familiar with the escape routes to be
used, no matter where you happen to be at the time. You should be aware of what alternative routes

RRC Business Training

Unit 7 | Emergency Procedures 7-4

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

you might use, if your normal route is impassable. You should never use a lift to escape, as the
electricity could go off and trap you inside.
Instructions should be given to all new employees as to the preferred escape route and the
alternative route and where to assemble for roll call on reaching safety. This should be reinforced by
regular fire drills (at least twice a year).

RRC Business Training

Unit 7 | Emergency Procedures 7-5

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

EXERCISES
Exercise 1
1.

Explain according to the company procedures what should be done in the case of a medical
emergency.

2.

What equipment should be available on a construction site to contain any possible


environmental spillage?

RRC Business Training

Unit 7 | Emergency Procedures 7-6

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

Exercise 2
1.

Obtain or sketch an outline plan of the site in which you are based.

2. Identify on your plan the escape route that you would normally take from your usual place of
work (i.e. the shortest to the assembly point) in the event of fire or explosion. (A coloured
broken line with arrows would be appropriate.)
3.

Identify on your plan an alternative route that may be followed, should the preferred route be
blocked.

RRC Business Training

Unit 7 | Emergency Procedures 7-7

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

Unit 8 | Personal Protective Equipment


Learning Outcomes
On completion of this unit, you will have knowledge and understanding of:
! The purpose of personal protective equipment.
! Different types of personal protective equipment.
! The importance of using personal protective equipment.
! Specific ALSTOM requirements for the use of personal protective
equipment.

Unit 8:

RRC Business Training

Unit 8 | Personal Protective Equipment 8-1

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

INTRODUCTION
The overriding aim of employers is always to prevent or reduce risks at source rather than rely on
personal protective equipment (PPE), which only provides protection for the wearer. However, there
will always be work situations where the use of PPE is unavoidable because alternative means of
controlling risks are not feasible. Examples include interim periods before prevention or control
measures are fully implemented; emergency incidents; maintenance operations; and as a
supplement to control measures which are not fully adequate.
This unit explains the purpose of PPE, the different types of equipment that are used and the
importance of using the equipment properly.

RRC Business Training

Unit 8 | Personal Protective Equipment 8-2

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

THE PURPOSE OF PPE


PPE is used as part of an employers control measures to protect individuals from harm at work.
Employers provide PPE only as a last resort after they have taken all measures to attempt to remove
or control a risk. They can also provide PPE as an interim measure whilst remedial action is being
carried out.
The purpose of PPE is to help protect the wearer from the possibility of harm while working in a
hostile environment.
As a general rule, personal protection should not be required during normal working.
There will be some exceptions to the rule, however. Protective footwear, headgear, hand protection
and special clothing are worn during most, if not all, of the working time in some cases. The use of
such equipment often continues when the protection is not required, e.g. protective footwear.

RRC Business Training

Unit 8 | Personal Protective Equipment 8-3

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

COMMON TYPES OF PPE


Hard Hats
The hazard of articles falling from a height is very serious. The high elevation of working situations
at refineries, on building sites and tank farms, increases the risk. Small articles, e.g. a small
spanner or a stopper from a sample bottle, can cause serious scalp, skull or brain damage, so most
firms make it a company regulation that all personnel wear safety helmets in such working areas.
In addition to articles falling, there is also the danger of people striking objects and causing head
injuries.
Safety helmets are lightweight and comfortable to wear and can be adjusted to suit different sizes
and shapes of head.

Eye Protection
Protection is required from hazards which can cause damage to the eyes, such as impact from flying
particles; dust; chemical splashes; molten metal; mists, sprays and gases; welding; non-ionising
radiation (e.g. ultraviolet); and laser light.
Various forms of eye protection are available depending on the type of hazard.

Spectacles
Spectacles are fitted with side pieces and can be used to absorb radiation (e.g. by glassblowers), to
withstand impact (by machinists) and to protect against liquids (e.g. in a chemical laboratory). They
are suitable for low-risk situations and can be provided with sight-corrected or prescription lenses.

Goggles
Goggles enclose the eyes completely and are secured by a flexible headband. They can provide
almost complete protection for the eyes from all the potential hazards which occur from radiation,
projectiles and liquids. Prescription spectacles can be worn under them.

Face Visors
Face visors provide both eye and face protection (e.g. for a welder). They are secured by an
adjustable head frame or may be fixed to a safety helmet. The design will depend on the hazard they
are used to combat.

RRC Business Training

Unit 8 | Personal Protective Equipment 8-4

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

Hearing Protection
People who have to work in noisy areas need ear protectors/defenders (ear muffs or ear plugs).
However, these should not be regarded as a substitute for noise reduction.

Ear Muffs
Ear muffs are normally hard plastic cups which fit over and surround the ears, fitted to the head by
cushion seals filled with a soft plastic foam or a viscous liquid.
If ear muffs need to be reissued, they should be cleaned and disinfected first.

Ear Plugs
Ear plugs fit into the ear canal. They are not always suitable for anyone suffering from an ear
disease. They can be supplied with a cord or a neck-band to prevent loss.

Ear plugs should not be passed from one person to another; they are for personal
use.

Ear Plugs
Wearing Ear Protection
Hearing protection has to be a perfect fit and worn all the time to give the protection it is designed to
do. The temptation to remove ear defenders on occasions will be reduced by making sure they are
comfortable to wear. They need to be tried for a number of days, as they are likely to feel different.
If they are still uncomfortable, employers should be able to provide a different type. The important
thing is to be equipped with some type of hearing protection which can be worn all the time without
discomfort.
All protectors are likely to cause some discomfort, especially in hot, sweaty conditions. Some
people prefer ear plugs in hot environments, while others find any plug extremely uncomfortable
and prefer muffs.

Wearing Ear Muffs


Protection can be reduced in a number of ways: long hair, thick spectacle frames and jewellery tend
to increase the space between the ear muff seal and the head and are likely to reduce performance.

RRC Business Training

Unit 8 | Personal Protective Equipment 8-5

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

Helmets and face shields can prevent ear muffs fitting correctly - ear plugs are often the easiest way
of avoiding compatibility problems. Ear plugs need to be properly inserted into the ear if they are to
make a good seal.
Remember that it is not only noise at work that can damage hearing. Listening to music that is
turned up loud can also permanently damage hearing.

Clothing
Protective clothing fulfils a wide variety of duties:

Thermal protection in cold environments.

Outdoor wear to protect against the elements.

Impervious clothing to protect against chemicals.

Heavy duty protection such as leather aprons for foundry or welding work.

Laboratory coats and overalls which protect the wearer from becoming excessively dirty.

Temperature Extremes
The thermal resistance of clothing is in general proportional to thickness; therefore, for hot or cold
protection, thick clothing is used. Where hot environments are the problem, provision must be
made for the body to lose heat, so adequate ventilation has to be provided.
Where water, either from sweat or external sources, is encountered, the garments must be protected
by a vapour barrier between the water and the garment material. Wet clothing soon loses its thermal
protection.

RRC Business Training

Unit 8 | Personal Protective Equipment 8-6

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

Oil Rig Employee Wearing Aluminium Heat-Resistant Clothing


Outdoor clothing has to control wind and rain. This is often achieved by using a waterproof cover
over a heat-insulating garment.
To provide an increase in visual safety, outer garments should be brightly coloured or incorporate
some form of light-reflecting system.

Chemicals
Protective garments used against chemicals have to be chosen to resist the particular substances
encountered.
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)-impregnated cloth provides protection for a wide range of acids, alkalis and
organic substances. Organic solvents may require other plastic materials.
Where rough conditions are experienced, rubber or synthetic rubber aprons are worn over the more
delicate PVC clothing.

RRC Business Training

Unit 8 | Personal Protective Equipment 8-7

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

It is very important that chemical-resistant leggings or trouser legs are worn outside wellington
boots so that any spillage does not run into them.
Owing to their impervious nature and the need for close-fitting chemical protection, garments often
become hot and sticky in use. Sectionalised clothing can often be used to advantage, as carefully
designed overlap areas provide ventilation passages which allow airflow over the body.

Footwear
Safety footwear is designed to protect the toes from heavy falling objects or moving bodies which
may roll over them, and also to prevent sharp objects piercing the bottom of the foot. Protection is
achieved by using a metal toecap over the toes and inserting a metal insole into the soles.
Safety footwear can also be made of special materials to give protection to the feet, ankles and legs
from hazardous chemicals. Foundry boots are designed with integral gaiters. The uppers of most
safety boots or shoes are made of chrome leather; the soles and heels, which are made of neoprene,
are slip-resistant and resist heat, oil, acid and alkali. More fashionable safety footwear used for
medium or light duty has polyurethane soles and heels. Where static electricity is a potential
hazard, anti-static footwear with conducting sole and heels is available so that any build-up of static
potential is discharged to earth. Where there are electrical hazards which could result in an
electrocution, footwear with a high current resistance should be used.
There is no one kind of safety footwear which will provide universal protection. In some
occupational situations, several types of footwear must be available to satisfy changing needs; the
construction industry is a typical example.

Gloves
There are many situations where hand protection in the form of gloves or gauntlets is used
occupationally. Such items are designed to provide protection against high and low temperatures,
chemicals and rough handling work.
For rough work not involving contact with chemicals and for hot/cold protection in the temperature
range 10C to 150C, terrycloth gloves provide good protection and are comfortable to wear. Leather
gloves are more durable but less comfortable to use unless the fit is very good. Leather
gloves/gauntlets are good for high temperatures, while for very low temperatures (10C to 80C)
special low thermal conductivity fabrics with good flexibility have been developed.
It is important that gauntlets worn when handling chemicals are tightly secured at the top or worn
under a sleeve, so that ingress of the material via an open gauntlet top is prevented.

RRC Business Training

Unit 8 | Personal Protective Equipment 8-8

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

USING PPE
Employees must be given adequate information, instruction and training on:

The purpose for which PPE has been provided.

The risks it will protect against.

Correct use of the PPE.

How to maintain it in an efficient working state and in good repair.

An employer has a legal duty to ensure that equipment provided is both used and maintained.
Another important point is that employees have a duty to use the PPE in accordance with their
training and report any defect or loss. There is an obligation to wear PPE and to make sure that it is
kept clean and stored in a clean place. For example:

Users of eye protection should have access to lens cleaning and demisting stations. Operators
cannot work efficiently with eye protection which is dirty or continually misting up.

There is little benefit in wearing goggles if they have been left in the work area collecting dust
and dirt on the inside.

ALSTOM Reference
Power Turbo-Systems
PPEA-WI-004 Site Specific Environmental, Health and Safety
Plan

RRC Business Training

Unit 8 | Personal Protective Equipment 8-9

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

EXERCISES
Exercise 1
What items of personal protective equipment are provided in your workplace? List them below.

RRC Business Training

Unit 8 | Personal Protective Equipment 8-10

Environment, Health and Safety | Introductory Level

Exercise 2
What personal protective equipment should be worn:
(a)

On a building site?

(b)

For welding work?

RRC Business Training

Unit 8 | Personal Protective Equipment 8-11