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Flame and arc processes pose a significant fire hazard, particularly as sparks can travel an appreciable distance.
It is essential that the following precautions are taken:
- where possible, work well away from flammable materials such as wood
- remove all materials likely to catch fire
- make sure the floor is swept clear of flammable debris or dust
- avoid work on wooden roof joists, unless protected by sheet steel or other flame/heat resistant material. Sparks falling through gaps in floorboards are a particular source of danger
- keep fire extinguishers, sand and water available. If necessary douse floor and walls with water before commencing work
- if you suspect that sparks may have come into contact with wooden structures, or enter wall cavities, special precautions should be taken. Remember that fire can smoulder for long periods before bursting into flame
- always check the work area for sparks, smouldering materials, etc.
- smoking should be forbidden where oxygen or other fuel gases are stored or being used. Many burning accidents which occur are triggered off by the lighting of a cigarette; it is impossible to over-emphasise the danger of smoking in atmospheres where oxygen enrichment can occur or where there is a risk of an air or oxy-fuel gas mixture
Further information and guidance can be found by simply typing 'Regulatory Reform Order' into a web search engine.
The information contained herein is provided as a general outline and is not intended as a definitive statement on the subject matter.
Professional advice should be sought before any action is taken in relation to safety in the workplace.