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Reference guide - Chemical hazards
Aide-mémoire - Risque chimique [in French]
The third edition of this reference guide brings together all useful information required for initiating a chemical hazards prevention programme. Contents: basic aspects; basic understanding of hazards; regulations; chemical hazards; risk of poisoning; dangerous reactions and fire and explosion hazards; prevention of chemical hazards; hazard identification and evaluation; prevention of occupational hazards; environmental chemical hazards.
Dunod, 5 rue Laromiguière, 75005 Paris,France 3rd ed., 2011, vii, 302p. Illus. Approx. 130 ref. Index. Price: EUR 34.20.
Emergency exists and escape ways - Proper signalling and maintenance are musts
Notausgänge: Gute Kennzeichnung und Wartung sind ein Muss [in German]
Sorties de secours: une signalisation et une maintenance exemplaires sont une nécessité [in French]
Emergency exits and escape ways are subject to specific requirements: they should always be clear; they should be rapidly openable at all times towards the outside; they should be immediately found in cases of emergency by means of appropriate signaling and lighting. These requirements are summarized in this article, with reference to Swiss labour legislation and fire protection regulations.
IZA - Sicherheit und Gesundheit, 2011, No.2, p.12-15 Illus.
Greven F.E., Rooyackers J.M., Kerstjens H.A., Heederik D.J.
Respiratory symptoms in firefighters
The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence and risk factors associated with respiratory symptoms among firefighters in the Netherlands. A total of 1330 firefighters from the municipal fire brigades of three provinces of the Netherlands were administered a Dutch version of the European Community Respiratory Health Survey questionnaire. General respiratory symptoms were associated with the number of fires fought in the last 12 months with odds ratios between 1.2 and 1.4 per 25 fires. A strong association was found between an inhalation incident and present respiratory symptoms with odds ratios between 1.7 and 3.0. Adjustments for smoking, sex, atopy and age did not change any of the associations. It is recommended that firefighters be made aware of these elevated healthcare risks associated with exposure to fire smoke and where possible supplied with self-contained respirators.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 2011, Vol.54, p.350-355. 28 ref.
Fernández de Castro Díaz Á.
Evaluation of the conditions for the evacuation of workplaces
Evaluación de las condiciones de evacuación en centros de trabajo [in Spanish]
The conditions of evacuation in a workplace, building or industrial premises are a means of ensuring the safety of employees, and therefore, their assessment is part of the overall task of hazard evaluation. This technical note explains how to conduct an evaluation of evacuation conditions.
Instituto Nacional de Seguridad e Higiene en el Trabajo, Ediciones y Publicaciones, c/Torrelaguna 73, 28027 Madrid, Spain, 2010. 6p. Illus. 4 ref.
NTP_884.pdf [in Spanish]
Miguel A.S., Góis J., Silva J.
Study on workers' evacuation in an industrial company
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the influence of training on the workers' behaviour, and consequently on their evacuation time, in case of an emergency. Three fire drills were undertaken, during which several parameters were recorded: time taken by the first worker to reach the section meeting point; time taken by the last worker to reach the meeting point; average age of the workers in each section; number of workers in each section; average distance of each section from the corresponding meeting point. Despite the scarcity of data, it was observed during the last fire drill that there was a better attitude towards fire risk and an increased awareness of safety issues. The workers' age as well the number of workers appeared to have no influence on the evacuation time.
Safety Science, Oct. 2010, Vol.48, No.8, p.1050-1053. Illus. 8 ref.
Coca A., Williams W.J., Roberge R.J., Powell J.B.
Effects of fire fighter protective ensembles on mobility and performance
Many studies have shown that fire fighter turnout gear and equipment may restrict mobility. The restriction of movement is usually due to a decrease in range of motion (ROM). It is important to know how much the decrease in ROM affects performance. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of fire fighter protective ensembles on mobility and performance by measuring static and dynamic range ROM and job-related tasks. Eight healthy adults participated in the study which consisted of measuring a battery of motions and fire fighter specific tasks while wearing a standard fire fighter ensemble or regular light clothing (baseline). The overall findings support the need for a comprehensive ergonomic evaluation of protective clothing systems to ascertain human factors issues.
Applied Ergonomics, July 2010, Vol.41, No.4, p.636-641. Illus. 28 ref.
Risk indicators for major hazards on offshore installations
Major hazards risk indicators are proposed for offshore installations, based on what has been used by the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway for the Risk Level approach in the Norwegian offshore petroleum industry. Since 2002, leading indicators are also used, in the sense that indicators for barrier performance are included together with the lagging indicators. The purpose of this paper is to recommend how indicators may be used by individual companies and installations in an efficient manner, based on the extensive experience in the field of major hazard risk.
Safety Science, July 2010, Vol.48, No.6, p.770-787. Illus. 33 ref.
Ko J.S., Yoon C.H., Yoon S.W., Kim J.
Determination of the applicable exhaust airflow rate through a ventilation shaft in the case of road tunnel fires
In this study, a model experiment in a long road tunnel employing a longitudinal ventilation system with a ventilation shaft was carried out during a fire accident, to determine the optimum exhaust airflow rate through the ventilation shaft. The appropriate operation of the shaft fan according to the position of fire was investigated, and the optimum exhaust airflow rate for prevention of smoke spreading through the tunnel was determined based on the entire exhaust of both smoke and airflow generated by fire and jet fan operation, respectively. As a result of using the amount of smoke, the critical air velocity produced by jet fans, the effective cross-sectional area of a tunnel and the correction factor, a formula for exhaust airflow rate was derived. In addition, a correction factor for the thermal expansion caused by heat of a 20 MW fire was determined theoretically and experimentally. It is expected that this study will contribute to plan the shaft operation for the emergency ventilation as well as provide the preliminary data to design the airflow rate of shaft.
Safety Science, July 2010, Vol.48, No.6, p.722-728. Illus. 13 ref.
Vega Giménez C.
Safety regulations against fire in the industrial establishments RD 2267/2004) (II)
Reglamento de seguridad contra incendios en establecimientos industriales (RD 2267/2004) (II) [in Spanish]
This information note aims at understanding and implementing the technical annexes of the Royal Decree l 2267/2004 approving the regulations against fire in industrial settings. It defines the fire resistant building codes for these premises. The related legislation and standards which have to be applied in this context are also listed. The characteristics of the buildings and the requirements applying to the fire protection systems are defined in a separate information note (see CIS 10-0111).
Instituto Nacional de Seguridad e Higiene en el Trabajo, Ediciones y Publicaciones, c/Torrelaguna 73, 28027 Madrid, Spain, 2010. 6p. Illus.
httphttp://www.insht.es/InshtWeb/Contenidos/Documentacion/FichasTecnicas/NTP/Ficheros/821a921/832%20web%20.pdf [in Spanish]
Vega Giménez C.
Safety regulations against fire in the industrial establishments RD 2267/2004) (I)
Reglamento de seguridad contra incendios en establecimientos industriales (RD 2267/2004) (I) [in Spanish]
This information note aims at understanding and implementing the technical annexes of the Royal Decree 2267/2004 approving the regulations against fire in industrial settings. It defines the characteristics of the buildings (configuration and location) and the requirements applying to fire protection systems (hydrants, fire detection systems, fire extinguishers, dry riser, etc.). Requirements applying to the building itself are given in a separate information note (see CIS 10-0112).
Instituto Nacional de Seguridad e Higiene en el Trabajo, Ediciones y Publicaciones, c/Torrelaguna 73, 28027 Madrid, Spain, 2010. 5p. Illus.
http://www.insht.es/InshtWeb/Contenidos/Documentacion/FichasTecnicas/NTP/Ficheros/821a921/831%20web.pdf [in Spanish]
Turmo Sierra E.
Static electricity in combustible dusts(I). Characteristics of the electrostatic discharges
Electricidad estática en polvos combustibles (I): características de las descargas eléctrostáticas [in Spanish]
This information note on static electricity in combustible dusts describes the phenomenon of electrostatic charge as well as the characteristics of different types of electrostatic discharges. The safety measures to be adopted are described in a second note (CIS 10-0114). See also CIS 02-1416.
Instituto Nacional de Seguridad e Higiene en el Trabajo, Ediciones y Publicaciones, c/Torrelaguna 73, 28027 Madrid, Spain, 2010. 4p.
Electricidad_estática_en_polvos_combustibles.pdf [in Spanish]
Alonso Martín M.C.
The explosion protection document
El documento de protección contra explosiones (DPCE) [in Spanish]
This information note on the explosion protection document, a mandatory document according to Royal Decree 681/2003 on safety and health protection of workers exposed to explosive atmospheres, explains how to prepare such a document and describes its structure and content.
Instituto Nacional de Seguridad e Higiene en el Trabajo, Ediciones y Publicaciones, c/Torrelaguna 73, 28027 Madrid, Spain, 2010. 5p. 7 ref.
El_documento_de_protección_contra_explosiones [in Spanish]
Health and Safety Executive
Buncefield explosion mechanism phase 1 - Volumes 1 and 2
This report presents the findings of the group of experts from academia and industry investigating the causes of a major accident involving a string of explosions and resulting fires at a large petroleum products tank farm in the United Kingdom in December 2005. The accident caused important material damage, closures and transport disruptions, but no serious injuries or loss of life.
HSE Books, P.O. Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2WA, United Kingdom, 2009, x, 31p. Illus. (vol. 1); iv, 178p. Illus. Bibl.ref. (vol.2).
Buncefield_explosion_mechanism_[INTERNET_FREE_ACCESS] [in English]
Chambers C., Wilday J., Turner S.
Health and Safety Executive
A review of Layers of Protection Analysis (LOPA) analyses of overfill of fuel storage tanks
In response to a major accident involving a string of explosions and resulting fires at a large petroleum products tank farm in the United Kingdom in December 2005, several recommendations were made to improve safety in the design and operation of fuel storage sites. Two of these recommendations were that loss of primary containment (tank overfill) should be prevented by a high integrity system, and that industry should agree to undertake a systematic assessment of safety integrity levels using commonly agreed methods. It was also recommended that prior to installing protective systems, one should determine the appropriate level of integrity that such systems are expected to achieve, by means of a "layer of protection analysis" (LOPA). This study aimed to identify common trends and instances of good practices, as well as areas requiring improvement, in the way in which LOPA studies are carried out by operators of sites that store liquid petroleum products in bulk.
HSE Books, P.O. Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2WA, United Kingdom, 2009, vi, 57p. 15 ref.
A_review_of_Layers_of_Protection_Analysis_[INTERNET_FREE_ACCESS] [in English]
Pritchard D.K., Royle M., Willoughby D.
Health and Safety Executive
Installation permitting guidance for hydrogen and fuel cell stationary applications: UK version
The HYPER project funded by the European Commission developed an Installation Permitting Guide (IPG) for hydrogen and fuel cell stationary applications. The IPG was developed in response to the growing need for guidance to foster the use and facilitate installation of these systems in Europe. This report presents a modified version of the IPG specifically intended for the United Kingdom market, with reference is made to national regulations, standards and practices.
HSE Books, P.O. Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2WA, United Kingdom, 2009, viii, 63p. Illus. 68 ref.
Installation_permitting_guidance_[INTERNET_FREE_ACCESS] [in English]
Véchot L., Cusco L., Hare J.
Health and Safety Executive
Development of fire protection measures for vessels containing reactive chemicals
The objective of this research was to develop a better understanding of the phenomena that occur when a vessel containing reactive chemicals is exposed to an external fire and to assess possible preventive and mitigation measures. An experimental calorimetric system for the simulating the effects on chemicals in vessels under fire loading was developed. The validities of theoretical models for the correction of adiabatic data were tested experimentally and dynamic simulations of large-scale vessels containing reactive chemicals exposed to a pool fire were carried out in order to study the effect of the presence of an insulation layer. This research forms a useful basis for HSE to assess the adequacy of the safety systems on a range of process reactors containing reactive chemicals and on storage vessels for reactive monomers. These installations vary in size from small reactors common in the pharmaceutical and fine chemical industries to the large, several hundred tonne capacity storage vessels used in the petrochemical industry.
HSE Books, P.O. Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2WA, United Kingdom, 2009. viii, 55p. Illus. 13 ref.
RR_682.pdf [in English]
Tanarro Gozalo C., Gálvez Pérez V.
Nanoparticles: A small hazard?
Nanopartículas: ¿un riesgo pequeño? [in Spanish]
The rapid development of nanotechnology has led to the emergence of a large number of consumer products containing nanoparticles thanks to the improved product properties resulting from their use. As a result, a growing number of workers are exposed to new materials about which little is known of their toxicological characteristics. This article gives an overview of nanoparticles, the sectors where they can be found, the associated hazards and the preventive measures that can be adopted.
Seguridad y Salud en el Trabajo, May 2009, No.52, p.33-44. Illus. 23 ref.
Fire protection in steel constructions
Brandschutz im Stahlbau [in German]
La protection incendie par intumescence dans la construction métallique [in French]
This article presents the advantages of intumescent fire protection systems compared to other systems in steel structures, as well as the disadvantages and limits of this method.
IZA - Sicherheit und Gesundheit, 2009, No.3, p.44-45. Illus.
Health and safety Executive
Reducing ill-health and accidents in motor vehicle repair
This revised booklet outlines the main causes of occupational accidents and diseases in motor vehicle repair, namely manual handling, plant and equipment and fire and explosion. It contains a checklist reminding workers of the measures that need to be taken to reduce ill health and accidents. It has been updated to take account of changes in industry practice since the first version was published. Contents; slips and trips; plant and equipment; manual handling; falls; transport; fire and explosion; electrical safety; skin diseases.
HSE Books, P.O. Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2WA, United Kingdom, Dec. 2009. 15p. Illus. 12 ref.
http://www.hse.gov.uk/PUBNS/indg356.pdf [in English]
Grayson R.L., Kinilakodi H., Kecojevic V.
Pilot sample risk analysis for underground coal mine fires and explosions using MSHA citation data
This article presents an approach for analyzing the risks for fires and explosions based on the United States Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) database. Using 2006 citation data and focusing on subsystem failures, the methodology is applied to a database for a pilot sample of underground coal mines stratified by mine size and state.
Safety Science, Dec. 2009, Vol.47, No.10, p.1371-1378. Illus. 10 ref.
Yoo H.L., Franke W.D.
Prevalence of cardiovascular disease risk factors in volunteer firefighters
To assess the prevalence of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors and frequency of risk screening in volunteer firefighters, data were obtained by means of questionnaires from 230 volunteer firefighters. Most participants were either overweight (35%) or obese (41%) and did not know either their blood lipid (86%) or blood pressure (47%) values. Only 35% reported having had a blood lipid assessment in the past year, whereas 39% had never done so; 93% had had their blood pressure assessed in the past year and only 2% had never done so. Thirty percent reported currently using tobacco. The prevalence of overweight, obesity and tobacco use among these volunteer firefighters was higher than that found in the general population. However, those who had had recent blood pressure and lipid assessments did not have markedly elevated values. Implications of these findings are discussed.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Aug. 2009, Vol.51, No.8, p.958-962. Illus. 27 ref.
Health and Safety Executive
Chemical warehousing - The storage of packaged dangerous substances
This guide describes control measures aimed at eliminating or reducing risks to persons from the storage of packaged dangerous goods. It applies to transit or distribution warehouses, open-air storage compounds and facilities associated chemical products. It is aimed at all persons holding responsibility for the storage of dangerous substances, regardless of the size of storage facility. Contents: introduction; legal requirements; hazard identification and risk assessment; elimination or reduction of risks; hazardous area classification; emergency arrangements; information, instruction and training; audit and review. It consists of a revised edition of the booklet analysed under CIS 04-171, with references to current legislation.
HSE Books, P.O. Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2WA, United Kingdom, 4th ed., June 2009. iv, 56p. Illus. 109 ref. Price: GBP 9.50. Downloadable version free of charge
http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/priced/hsg71.pdf [in English]
Kidd S., Griffiths S., Hardy P., Allen J., Brinson A.
Collection of articles on sprinklers. Topics addressed: sprinklers to protect modern single-storey warehouses; promoting consciousness of the importance of sprinkler systems among local authority administrations in the United Kingdom; involving fire and rescue services in the cost-effective design of sprinkler systems; appropriate fire protection in cold storage warehouses; possible impact of the European Construction Products Regulations on the sprinkler industry.
Fire Engineers Journal, July 2009, p.50-63. Illus.
Fire protection at the speed of light
This article describes the operations of the Fermilab National Laboratory in the United States, which includes the world's second most-powerful particle accelerator and collider housed in a tunnel nine metres below the surface. Acceleration is achieved through the use of powerful superconductor magnets, which in turn require low temperatures obtained in large equipments producing cryogenic liquids. Other substances present include hydrofluoric acid, hydrogen gas and various specific mixtures of flammable gases. The article discusses some of the specific aspects of the laboratory's fire safety organization.
NFPA Journal, May-June 2009, Vol.103, No.3, p.74-78.
Act before fire strikes!
The Hong Kong Occupational Safety and Health Council (OSHC) invites enterprises to fill in a fire safety check-list and fire safety training record, in order to assist OSHC in their safety inspection mission. This leaflet contains models of a fire safety check-list and a training record-keeping form.
Occupational Safety and Health Council, 19/F China United Centre, 28 Marble Road, North Point, Hong Kong, 2008. 4p. Illus.
Act_before_fire_strikes_[INTERNET_FREE_ACCESS] [in English]
Ivings M.J., Clarke M.S., Gant S.E., Fletcher B., Heather A., Pocock D.J., Pritchard D.K., Santon R., Saunders C.J.
Health and Safety Executive
Area classification for secondary releases from low pressure natural gas systems
This report reviews current methods of evaluating the effectiveness of the ventilation of enclosures. British Standard BS 5925 which describes a method for calculating air change rates was applied to two enclosures where the air change rate was measured experimentally. In the first of the two cases considered, the calculated air change rate was in good agreement with the measurements, whereas in the other case it under-predicted the ventilation rate. An improved model was proposed and validated against 29 experimental tests carried out in a purpose built enclosure. The experimental tests consisted of releases of simulated methane gas for a range of leak rates and ventilation rates. Findings are discussed.
HSE Books, P.O. Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2WA, United Kingdom, 2008. viii, 182p. Illus. 26 ref.
Report_RR630.pdf [in English]
In the line of fire - Protecting emergency services personnel from feeling the heat
Using the case of a fire having erupted in an Australian winery, this article explains the importance of protecting firefighters and volunteers not only from the fire itself, but also from the release of dangerous substances and from the high level of heat radiated by the fire. The conclusions of the investigations carried out after the fire are discussed, including the importance of carrying out regular hazard evaluations, training workers in emergency procedures, storing hazardous substances in dedicated areas and making the layout of the premises available and clearly visible to firefighting personnel.
National Safety - The Magazine of the National Safety Council of Australia, Apr. 2008, Vol.79, No.3, p.16-23. Illus.
Gaughan D.M., Cox-Ganser J.M., Enright P.L., Castellan R.M., Wagner G.R., Hobbs G.R., Bledsoe T.A., Siegel P.D., Kreiss K., Weissman D.N.
Acute upper and lower respiratory effects in wildland firefighters
To assess acute respiratory effects experienced by wildland firefighters, two crews were studied by means of questionnaires, spirometry, and measurement of albumin, eosinophilic cationic protein, and myeloperoxidase as indicators of inflammation in sputum and nasal lavage fluid. Assessments were made pre-season, post-fire, and post-season. Findings are discussed.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Sep 2008, Vol.50, No.9, p.1019-1028. Illus. 41 ref.
Soteriades E.S., Hauser R., Kawachi I., Christiani D.C., Kales S.N.
Obesity and risk of job disability in male firefighters
The objective of this study was to examine the association between obesity and the risk of job disability among firefighters. A cohort of 358 Massachusetts firefighters enrolled in a medical surveillance programme was followed for over six years. In multivariable-adjusted Cox proportional hazard models, it was found that each unit increase in body mass index (BMI) was associated with a 5% increased risk of job disability. The highest categories of BMI had a 60-90% increased risk of job disability compared to the lowest or normal-weight categories, respectively. Implications of these findings are discussed.
Occupational Medicine, 2008, Vol.58, No.4, p.245-250. 30 ref.
Al-Malki A.L., Rezq A.M., Al-Saedy M.H.
Effect of fire smoke on some biochemical parameters in firefighters of Saudi Arabia
Firefighters who are facing fires, are frequently exposed to hazardous materials including carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, hydrogen chloride, benzene and sulfur dioxide. Two groups of male firefighters volunteered to participate in the study, together with a group of male volunteers unexposed to smoke. Blood samples were collected from all volunteer subjects and investigated for some relevant serum biochemical and blood hematological changes. There were statistically significant differences in liver function, kidney function, serum lipid profile, cortisol, creatine kinase, lactate dehydrogenase, and iron and its biologically active derivatives between firefighters and controls. These findings point to the need for improved protective measures to avoid health effects that might endanger firefighters working under extreme conditions.
Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology, Dec. 2008, Vol.3, No.33, 8p. 30 ref.
http://www.occup-med.com/content/pdf/1745-6673-3-33.pdf [in English]
Yucesoy B., Kurzius-Spencer M., Johnson V.J., Fluharty K., Kashon M.L., Guerra S., Luster M.I., Burgess J.L.
Association of cytokine gene polymorphisms with rate of decline in lung function
The objective of this study was to investigate whether genetic variants involved in cytokine expression are associated with the age-related rate of decline in one-second forced expiratory volume (FEV1). Gene polymorphisms were investigated in 374 active firefighters for whom the data of at least five pulmonary function tests were available. Findings are discussed. It is concluded that inter-individual variability in progressive decline in FEV1 may be explained in part by genetic variations within genes involved in inflammatory responses.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, June 2008, Vol.50, No.6, p.642-648. 37 ref.
A review of the criteria for people exposure to radiant heat flux from fires
This article reviews the available literature on skin burns caused by radiant heat exposure. The associated thermal and spectral properties of human skin are discussed. The basis for the United States regulatory setting of 5kW/m2 for evaluating distances for the exposure of persons to radiant heat effects of large fires is discussed. An example calculation is provided to show the extent of reduction in the hazard distance to specified radiant heat flux from a fire when the spectral reflection and absorption properties of skin are considered, with and without the inclusion of the mitigating effects of clothing. The results indicate that hazard distances calculated including the reflective and band absorptive properties (in IR wavelength) of skin results in a reduction of between 30 and 50% in the hazard distances obtained using the current methodology.
Journal of Hazardous Materials, Nov. 2008, Vol.159, No.1, p.61-71. Illus. 28 ref.
The deaths of nine firefighters in a fire at a sofa showroom in South Carolina, USA, prompted a wide-ranging investigation. This article reports on the main findings. Contents: incident summary; risks inherent to the building; firefighting operations; lessons and recommendations; steps taken by the fire department and city authorities following the tragedy.
Fire Engineers Journal, Oct. 2008, p.54-59. Illus. 1 ref.
Frictional ignition of methane-air in the presence of liquid hydrocarbons
Methane ignitions in underground coal mining are often caused by the impact of mining machine cutter bits on sandstone during the coal-cutting process. Most ignitions are small and limited to the cutter head location. However, under certain conditions, these ignitions can lead to larger methane explosions and/or fires with the potential for causing serious injury or death to the mining machine operator and other nearby miners. A series ignition tests were conducted in a test chamber, with various methane-air mixtures with and without the presence of liquid hydrocarbons on the sandstone. It was found that hydrocarbon vapours can ignite at significantly lower temperatures than the methane. Extra precautions to prevent fires and explosions must be taken when heavier molecular weight liquid hydrocarbons are present in addition to methane in an underground coal mine.
Publications Dissemination, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226-2001, USA, Mar. 2008. 2p. Illus. 2 ref.
http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/mining/pubs/pdfs/2008-124.pdf [in English]
Explosion hazards from methane emissions related to geologic features in coal mines
Explosions in coal mines are caused when buildups of explosive gas and/or dust are ignited by a flame or spark. Methane is normally contained in coal and is liberated during mining. Because this gas is explosive in the range of 5%-15% by volume in air, fresh air is constantly supplied to the working face to prevent the methane/air mixture from reaching this explosive range. The required amount of ventilation air is based on estimates of methane release under normal conditions. Occasionally, unanticipated and unusually high emissions are encountered, which, despite normal ventilation controls, result in an explosive mixture that a spark from a cutting bit or electrical equipment can easily ignite. Investigations have shown that such emissions are often associated with anomalous geologic features or conditions. This report provides operators with specific information on recognizing and alleviating potential hazards from methane emissions related to these geologic features.
Publications Dissemination, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226-2001, USA, Apr. 2008. 18p. Illus. 35 ref.
http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/mining/pubs/pdfs/2008-123.pdf [in English]
Protect your employees with an exposure control plan
The exposure control plan is the focal point of any programme aimed at the prevention of exposure to bloodborne pathogens. It details in writing the employer's plan for reducing exposures to bloodborne pathogens and explains what steps to take when an exposure occurs. Aimed at employers of first responders (emergency medical services, fire fighters, and law enforcement), this leaflet outlines the basic elements of an exposure control plan and how to develop such a plan. See also CIS 08-1012 and 08-1221.
Publications Dissemination, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226-2001, USA, July 2008. 4p. Illus. 4 ref.
http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2008-115/pdfs/2008-115.pdf [in English]
Encourage your workers to report bloodborne pathogen exposures
Aimed at employers, this leaflet outlines the importance of encouraging first responders (emergency medical services, fire fighters, and law enforcement) to report exposures to bloodborne pathogens. Topics addressed: why employees may be reluctant to report exposures; why employees should report all exposures; how employers can encourage reporting (developing a policy, informing and training personnel). See also CIS 08-1012 and 08-1222.
Publications Dissemination, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226-2001, USA, July 2008. 2p. Illus. 2 ref.
http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2008-118/pdfs/2008-118.pdf [in English]
Protect yourself. Protect your family. Protect the public
These posters visually reinforce the importance of frontline first responders (emergency medical services, fire fighters, and law enforcement) protecting themselves from work-related exposures to bloodborne pathogens, such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B virus, and hepatitis C virus. Protection includes reading the employer's exposure control plan, wearing personal protective equipment and reporting all exposures. See also CIS 08-1221/1222.
Publications Dissemination, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226-2001, USA, July 2008. Two posters. Illus.
http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2008-117/pdfs/2008-117.pdf [in English]
http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2008-116/pdfs/2008-116.pdf [in English]
Kang D., Davis L.K., Hunt P., Kriebel D.
Cancer incidence among male Massachusetts firefighters, 1987-2003
Firefighters are known to be exposed to recognized or probable carcinogens. Previous studies have found elevated risks of several types of cancers in firefighters. Standardized morbidity odds ratio (SMORs) were used to evaluate the cancer risk in white, male firefighters compared to police and all other occupations in the Massachusetts Cancer Registry from 1986 to 2003. Control cancers were those not associated with firefighters in previous studies. Risks were moderately elevated among firefighters for colon cancer (SMOR=1.36) and brain cancer (SMOR=1.90). Weaker evidence of increased risk was observed for bladder cancer, kidney cancer and Hodgkin's lymphoma. These findings are compatible with previous reports.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, May 2008, Vol.51, No.5, p.329-335. 49 ref.
Saijo Y., Ueno T., Hashimoto Y.
Twenty-four-hour shift work, depressive symptoms, and job dissatisfaction among Japanese firefighters
The purpose of this study was to clarify the relationships between specific workload items and job stress among firefighters engaged in 24h shift work. The subjects were 1301 firefighters who answered a questionnaire covering age, gender, job type, job class, marital status, smoking and drinking habits, number of attendances, turnout time, extra work hours, CES-D depression scale and questions from the NIOSH generic job-stress questionnaire. Data were subjected to statistical evaluation. It was found that workload, workload variance, conflicts, social support from a supervisor, role conflict and ambiguity, and self-esteem were significantly related to depressive symptoms and/or job dissatisfaction among Japanese firefighters. Moreover, inadequate nap-time may affect their mental health. Other findings are discussed.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, May 2008, Vol.51, No.5, p.380-391. 53 ref.
Poisoning by fire smoke
Intoxication par les fumées d'incendie [in French]
For a long time, the only recognized fire-related hazard to humans has been cutaneous burns. Since the seventies, data on the thermal degradation of materials and experimental toxicity of gases together with clinical and forensic studies have shown that structural fires involve not only thermal but also chemical risks. Residential fires are an important cause of household death caused by smoke toxicity. Smoke exhibits two types of toxicity: respiratory and systemic. Experimental and clinical studies have shown that toxic gases other than carbon monoxide should also be taken into account when assessing smoke toxicity, including cyanide produced by the thermal degradation of natural as well as synthetic material in well defined conditions of low-oxygen concentration and high temperature that are frequently encountered in structural fires. The medical treatment of fire victims is complex because a number of individuals who have faced only low exposures are mixed with truly intoxicated victims. In addition to supportive treatment, specific toxicological treatment includes high flow of oxygen delivered in normobaric and hyperbaric conditions in case of severe carbon monoxide poisoning. Hydroxocobalamine has been recently evidenced as a safe antidote towards cyanide in this complex clinical setting. Smoke inhalation may not only cause acute, potentially life-threatening diseases, but may also result in chronic, respiratory or neurological, diseases.
Encyclopédie médico-chirurgicale, Toxicologie-Pathologie professionnelle, 1st Quarter 2008, No.158, 14p. Illus. 52 ref.
Hedley D., Pritchard D.K., Eaton G.T.
Health and Safety Executive
Assessment of fire and explosion risks in coating mixing operations
The Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 (DSEAR, see CIS 03-1035) require a re-assessment of the fire and explosion risks arising from the formation of explosive atmospheres in and around mixing vessels used for the formulation of coatings (inks and paints). Vapour concentration measurements were made during site visits in and around mixing vessels, and ignition tests were carried out in the laboratory on sample coating formulations. The findings are to be used to define HSE's DSEAR Enforcement Policy on coatings mixing operations.
HSE Books, P.O. Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2WA, United Kingdom, 2007. vi, 22p. Illus. 1 ref.
http://www.hse.gov.uk/research/rrpdf/rr526.pdf [in English]
Dołęgowski B., Janczała S.
What each employee should know about OSH: Basic information on occupational safety, occupational hazards, first aid and fire protection
Co pracownik powinien wiedzieć o bhp: Podstawowe wiadomości o bezpieczeństwie pracy, zagrożeniach zawodowych, pierwszej pomocy i ochronie przeciwpożarowej [in Polish]
Contents of this booklet concerning basic information on occupational safety and health aimed at employees: occupational hazards; providing first aid; fire protection; basic rights and responsibilities of employees and employers; practical explanations and instructions.
Ośrodek Doradztwa i Doskonalenia Kadr Sp. z o.o., ul. Obrońców Westerplatte 32a, 80-317 Gdańsk Oliwa, Poland, 2007. 44p.
Risk of multiple myeloma and cancers of the respiratory system, oesophagus, stomach, pancreas, prostate, testes and skin in firemen
Risque de myélome multiple et de cancers des voies respiratoires, de l'œsophage, de l'estomac, du pancréas, de la prostate, des testicules et de la peau chez les pompiers [in French]
The objective of this literature survey was to evaluate the risk of developing certain types of cancer among firemen. It resulted in the publication of several reports. This report addresses the risk of multiple myeloma and cancers of the respiratory tract, oesophagus, stomach, pancreas, prostate, testicles and skin. It concludes that available epidemiological data do not indicate that the cancers examined in this analysis can be assumed to occur in firefighters as a result of their occupation. This conclusion is based on the absence of a significant increase in risk in most of the studies and the minimal increase in risk in the cases where it is present. See also CIS 08-598/600.
Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail du Québec (IRSST), 505 boul. de Maisonneuve Ouest, Montreal (Quebec) H3A 3C2, Canada, 2007. i, 37p. 79 ref. Price: CAD 8.40. Downloadable version (PDF format) free of charge.
http://www.irsst.qc.ca/files/documents/PubIRSST/R-522.pdf [in English]
http://www.irsst.qc.ca/files/documents/PubIRSST/R-521.pdf [in French]
Risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in firemen
Risque de lymphome non hodgkinien chez les pompiers [in French]
The objective of this literature survey was to evaluate the risk of developing certain types of cancer among firemen. It resulted in the publication of several reports. This report addresses the risk of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Firefighting involves exposure to possible carcinogenic substances such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, benzene, 1,3-butadiene and diesel emissions. Some publications have hypothesized that these chemicals could be involved in the development of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL). Available epidemiological data indicate either a slightly elevated risk or no increased risk of NHL among firefighters. The absence of a clearly defined mechanism also raises difficulties. Known or suspected risk factors for NHL are not found to be more prevalent among firefighters. Even if firefighters with NHL may have developed the disease as a result of their job, this conclusion cannot be derived from currently-available literature. See also CIS 08-598/599 and 08-601.
Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail du Québec (IRSST), 505 boul. de Maisonneuve Ouest, Montreal (Quebec) H3A 3C2, Canada, 2007. i, 23p. Illus. 61 ref. Price: CAD 7.35. Downloadable version (PDF format) free of charge.
http://www.irsst.qc.ca/files/documents/PubIRSST/R-520.pdf [in English]
http://www.irsst.qc.ca/files/documents/PubIRSST/R-519.pdf [in French]
Risk of leukaemia in firemen
Risque de leucémie chez les pompiers [in French]
The objective of this literature survey was to evaluate the risk of developing certain types of cancer among firemen. It resulted in the publication of several reports. This report addresses the risk of leukaemia. It concludes that available epidemiological data do not generally support a conclusion in which the job of fire fighter constitutes an unequivocal risk of leukaemia. See also CIS 08-598 and 08-600/601.
Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail du Québec (IRSST), 505 boul. de Maisonneuve Ouest, Montreal (Quebec) H3A 3C2, Canada, 2007. i, 24p. Illus. 63 ref. Price: CAD 7.35. Downloadable version (PDF format) free of charge.
http://www.irsst.qc.ca/files/documents/PubIRSST/R-518.pdf [in English]
http://www.irsst.qc.ca/files/documents/PubIRSST/R-517.pdf [in French]
Risk of cancer of the colon and rectum in firemen
Risques de cancer du côlon et du rectum chez les pompiers [in French]
The objective of this literature survey was to evaluate the risk of developing certain types of cancer among firemen. It resulted in the publication of several reports. This report addresses the risk of colorectal cancer. It concludes that available epidemiological data do not provide sufficient proof about the etiological role of the firefighting occupation regarding the incidence of colon or rectal cancer or the mortality due to these cancers. See also CIS 08-599/601.
Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail du Québec (IRSST), 505 boul. de Maisonneuve Ouest, Montreal (Quebec) H3A 3C2, Canada, 2007. 26p. Illus. 91 ref. Price: CAD 7.35. Downloadable version (PDF format) free of charge.
http://www.irsst.qc.ca/files/documents/PubIRSST/R-516.pdf [in English]
http://www.irsst.qc.ca/files/documents/PubIRSST/R-515.pdf [in French]
Villa Vicente J.G., López Satué J., Ávila Ordás M.C., Rodríguez Marroyo J., Pernía Cubillo R., García López J., Moreno Romeo S., Marqués Millán R., Mendonça P.R.
Heart rate monitoring during forest firefighting work, for the purpose of preventing occupational hazards
Monitorización de la frecuencia cardíaca en las labores de extinción de incendios forestales, para la prevención de riesgos laborales [in Spanish]
This study discusses heart rate monitoring as a means of assessing the physical and heat stress among forestry firefighting personnel. It involved 200 forestry firefighters of a region of Spain, who were tested on a treadmill while their and their heart rate and oxygen consumption were measured. A second phase of the study involved the heart rate monitoring during actual firefighting operations for fires of various intensity levels. Based on the findings and on the data concerning the intensity and the time required to extinguish 79 fires that occurred in Spain during 2006, it is concluded that firefighting is a highly energy consuming activity requiring a high level of physical fitness.
Prevención, July-Sep. 2007, No.181, p.6-26. Illus. 41 ref.
Douté M., Issartel E.
Storage of aerosols: Which extinguishing system?
Stockage d'aérosols: quels systèmes d'extinction? [in French]
An aerosol can is a form of packaging that enables the vaporisation of a product into fine droplets. It consists of a container, generally metallic, whose contents include approximately 60% of propellant gases (butane, propane or mixtures thereof) and 40% of the active ingredient, dissolved in a solvent. Given the nature of the products involved, there is a high fire or explosion risk during the manufacture and storage of aerosol cans. This review article on extinguishing systems suited to aerosol can manufacture and storage premises covers the following aspects: hazard analysis; usefulness of sprinklers; experience of a large cosmetics producer; short descriptions of accidents involving aerosol cans; regulations.
Face au risque, June-July 2007, No.434, p.21-24. Illus. 1 ref.
Integrating sprinklers in the construction process
Intégrer le sprinkleur dans le processus de construction [in French]
Modern architecture of office, commercial and industrial buildings needs to take account of increasingly-diverse and often conflicting regulatory or contractual requirements. This article presents several parameters that illustrate the need for architects and their teams of building contractors to take into account the integration of sprinkler systems already during the design phase of the project.
Face au risque, Apr. 2007, No.432, p.25-27. Illus.
Olson K., Behnke J., Edlbeck D.R.
Liquefied natural gas - LNG safety and protecting a facility: Striving to be the safest in the industry
This article discusses effective fire protection systems for liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities, based on prevention, control and extinguishment (using dry chemical systems or high-expansion foam systems). It comments the United States National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standard 59A on the production, storage and handling of LNG.
NFPA Journal, Jan.-Feb. 2007, Vol.101, No.1, p.44-49. Illus.
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