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Chemicals and Flammable Substances

 

Evacuations Follow Chemical Blaze

A chemical fire at a factory in Newport resulted in approximately 100 people evacuating their homes overnight.

This also resulted in a 400m exclusion zone being set up and roads cordoned off around the International Rectifier plant at Tredgar Park.

A fire ignited in a cylinder of saline which is used in the manufacture semi-conductors. Forcing evacuation to take place. This was said to be the best way to deal with the incident and risk involved.

It was stated by the Gwent police services that the fire was extinguished early on Tuesday.

The cause of the blaze was a closed valve from the burning cylinder.

The incident will lead to an internal investigation commencing.

Early on the Tuesday all businesses around the plant were reopened and residents allowed back into their homes.

As the fire was isolated no production was affected. Ensuring full production was continuing as normal and all staff was back on site.

USEFUL INFORMATION ON CHEMICALS AND OTHER DANGEROUS SUBSTANCES -

Small amounts of dangerous substances can be found in most workplaces. Whatever their use, the storage and use of these goods can be hazardous unless basic safety principles are followed. If you use flammable and explosive substances - this guide will help you to:

  • be aware of the hazards of various types of flammable substance;
  • be aware of the basic standards of safe handling and storage of flammable substances;
  • have procedures in place to prevent accidents and protect people from the hazards of flammable substances;

There is an endless list of various types of flammable substances to be found in the workplace. Which are from the obvious, e.g. petrol, paint thinners, welding gases and heating fuels, to the not so obvious, e.g. packaging materials, dusts from woodworking and dusts from food stuffs such as flour and sugar etc.

Three ingredients are needed to create fire: fuel, air and ignition. If you control these ingredients, fires can be prevented.

BASIC SAFETY PRINCIPLES

To ensure you are working safely with flammable substances apply the following five principles:

Ventilation

Ensure there is sufficient ventilation where flammable liquids or gases are stored and used.

Ignition

Ensure all ignition sources been removed from the storage and handling areas.

Containment

Use lidded containers to seal your flammable substances when stored. This will prevent spillages from spreading

Exchange

Can a non-flammable substance be used instead of a flammable one? This will eliminate the risk altogether.

Separation

Separating your flammable substances storage area from other processes and general storage areas will ensure a safer workplace.

Think VICES

- keep a strong grip on your workplace safety.

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