Gas Safety Week takes place the 17th – 23rd of September this year. Although gas safety is important all year round, this is a week dedicated to raising awareness of the dangers and how the risks can be minimised.
Gas can cause serious harm if not looked after and stored correctly. Negligence of safety procedures around handling gas can potentially cause explosions and fires. If gas equipment is not properly checked and maintained then this can cause leaks and if people are not aware, this can lead to gas poisoning.
Every year, over a thousand people are affected by carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Between 2015 – 2016 there were 102 deaths in the UK due to accidental CO poisoning and 41 deaths caused by accidental poisoning by other gases and vapours. Even though there have been many campaigns to raise awareness in households of the dangers of CO, it is important that workers are also aware of the risks they face as well.
Below are some safety tips for working around gas:
- Ventilation: make sure that your work area is probably ventilated so harmful gases have a route to escape and reduce the risk of inhalation.
- Ignition: to avoid fires and explosions, make sure no ignition sources are in areas where there are flammable gases. For example, make sure smokers have their breaks a safe distance away from areas where gases are stored.
- Inspection: regularly inspect appliances and pipework that carry or hold gas. If these are not maintained then this can lead to a gas leak.
- Safety: If you suspect that an appliance is unsafe, then do not use it.
- Training: Ensure all staff working with gas are fully trained to do so. Negligence and lack of training could lead to a serious accident.
- Planning: A plan should be put in place in case of an emergency. All workers should be aware of this plan and know what to do in an emergency scenario.
- If you suspect a gas leak – Evacuate the premises and Call the National Gas Emergency Service on: 0800 111 999 and inform the police.
Workers that are most likely to be affected by the effects of gas are those working in industries such as construction, utilities and the oil and gas sectors. These workers can find themselves in hazardous conditions where they have to be mindful of the environment around them. To work in conditions such as these, it is important that workers have the correct personal protective equipment (PPE) or they risk putting themselves at risk.
Below are four suggestions of safety equipment workers should have:
- Respiratory Protective Equipment: If workers are in particularly hazardous conditions, then it is important that the correct equipment is supplied in order to protect their lungs from harmful substances.
- Safety Goggles and Face Shields: Harmful gases, vapours and chemicals can cause irritation to eyes so it is important that workers protect these with the correct safety equipment.
- Gloves: Protection for hands is important in any physical job. Workers may come across sharp objects but also harmful chemicals and so it is important that exposed skin is covered to eliminate the risk of irritation or injury.
- Personal Safety Alarm: Having a personal alarm is essential for those that are working alone. If an accident were to happen then a user would be able to request help at the push of a button. An intrinsically safe device such as the Twig Ex (ATEX) is designed to be used in hazardous environments. The Twig Ex has been ATEX approved as an intrinsic device, meaning that the Twig emits minimal thermal and electrical energy mitigating the risk of igniting a flammable substance. This makes the Twig a perfect safety device for use by workers in the construction, utility and the gas and oil industries. Find out more about the Twig Ex (ATEX) here.
If you would like to find out more about Gas Safety Week please visit the Gas Safe Register website here: https://www.gassaferegister.co.uk/gassafetyweek/
If you would like to start a free trial of the Twig Ex (ATEX) for 30 days then click here