Nothing causes panic in the workplace quite like the outbreak of a fire. The dangers to the health of both the building and those within in it mean that any scenario involving a fire is likely to be serious and need dealing with as soon as possible.
If you are involved in accidents at work that result in a fire, here’s a quick guide to the essential steps when operating a fire extinguisher to ensure that further injuries at work are not suffered.
Step one: If the fire it serious, always call for help before attempting to tackle it yourself. Fires can take hold and spread far more quickly than you might think or are prepared for.
Step two: Check your own safety status by establishing where your nearest exit points are. The consequences of workplace accidents with fire are usually serious enough without the grave consequences of becoming trapped in a burning building.
Step three: Check the fire. Fire extinguishers should only be used on fires which are contained (i.e. In a bin or similar) or small enough to be dealt with. Extinguishers also only contain a finite amount of substance which can only extinguish a fire when used correctly.
Step four: Check the extinguisher. Different categories are suitable for different fires and getting it wrong can make a bad situation worse, increasing the risk of accidents and injury at work.
Step five: Break the seal and pull the safety pin off the handle so you can use the extinguisher.
Step six: Take action. Flames need to be put out at source. Therefore, aiming at the flames themselves is a waste of both precious time and effort. Aim at the base of the fire to dampen the fuel.
Step seven: Remember P.A.S.S:
Moving the extinguisher in a sweeping motion will increase your chances of putting the fire out and minimising the impact of the accident at work.
Whatever the cause of your workplace accident, if it wasn’t your fault and caused injuries that required medical attention, then you may well be due some work accident compensation. Accident Advice Helpline offers a freephone advice service to help get you started and our legal team have over 13 years’ experience in dealing with personal injury claims.
They work on a no-win, no-fee* basis and are usually able to settle out of court.
Date Published: February 12, 2014
Author: David Brown