The next level of health and safety reference

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You are here: Home FEATURES Featured May/June 2014 The next level of health and safety reference

The next level of health and safety reference

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The next level of health and safety referenceA new Safety First Association (SFA) publication is to be launched soon. Here is a sneak peek into what you can expect

In 2009, the SFA published the Institute of Safety Management (IOSM) Study Guide for Safety Coordinators: basic workplace safety in a nutshell, which is now out of print. Consequently, IOSM is in the process of developing Practical Workplace Safety in a Nutshell: a practical guide for all who wish to know more about occupation health and safety, which will be published by the SFA.

This new publication is currently being designed and is intended to be an essential practical occupational health and safety management reference source, for all levels of people in health and safety practice.

This 200-page publication is compiled in a Frequently Asked Questions and Answers format, with individual topic sections within three main groupings: Safety Management, Workplace Safety Processes and Procedures, and Workplace Safety.

Extracted here are three of some 400 questions and answers, for your information:

What is a flammable (or explosive) range?

In order for any flammable vapour to ignite, a specific air-vapour concentration, between a maximum and minimum limit, has to exist. This vapour-air mixture of a flammable liquid must be within its flammable range for the mixture to ignite or burn.

Similarly, the explosive range refers to an air-gas mixture’s ignition range where the lower flammable/explosive limit (LFL/LEL) of a fuel is the lowest concentration of fuel vapour or gas mixed with air that will ignite, and, the upper flammable/explosive limit (UFL/UEL) of a fuel is the highest concentration of fuel vapour or gas mixed with air that will ignite.

What are the three risk assessment steps for the South African National Standards (SANS)/International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) 31000?

• Risk identification – (often called hazard identification) is the process of finding, recognising and describing risks, where: a) risk identification involves the identification of risk sources, events, their causes and their potential consequences; b) risk identification can involve historical data, theoretical analysis, informed and expert opinions, and stakeholders’ needs.

• Risk analysis – the process involved in comprehending the nature of risk and determining the level of risk, where: a) Risk analysis provides the basis for risk evaluation and decisions about risk treatment, and; b) Risk analysis includes risk estimation.

• Risk evaluation – is the process of comparing the results of risk analysis with risk criteria to determine whether the risk and/or its magnitude is acceptable or tolerable. The outcome of this risk evaluation should assist in the decision about applying risk treatment/risk control measures to reduce the potential magnitude of the risks.

Why does the safety legislation often prescribe inspection intervals on certain types of electrical and mechanical machinery and equipment?

Mechanical machinery and equipment in operation is subject to wear and tear during the operational lifecycle, so it is legislated that inspections be performed at regular (or specified) intervals to assess the condition of the machinery and equipment, in order to avoid the potential of a serious or catastrophic failure or incident occurrence.

This requirement enforces performing planned and/or corrective maintenance at intervals to avoid machinery and equipment incidents, due to the degradation of the condition of machinery during its lifecycle.

This publication is due to be launched in the coming months – so look out for it, as it’s an essential reference for any health and safety practitioner!

 
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