There are always warnings about extra risks in the home in the run-up to Christmas, from scented candles setting the curtains on fire, to overloaded multi-way adaptors sparking and setting the tree alight, but the season brings some very significant extra concerns to industrial hazardous areas too – here are five to keep in mind this year.
- Poor visibility
It’s not just the nights that are darker in the run-up to Christmas, as the daytime can be gloomy too. Make sure you have adequate hazardous area lighting that is not only bright enough, but shielded against excess heat and electrical sparks that could ignite any flammable gases.
- Keeping warm
Use proper hazardous area heaters to keep personnel warm, without the risk of excess heat that could lead to flammable materials setting alight.
- Weather-proof enclosures
If hazardous area equipment is not rated as weather-proof in itself, weather-proof enclosures are an option to shield the item against strong winds, heavy rains and sub-zero snow and ice, so it remains fully functional well into the new year.
- No time for novelties
There’s a temptation to drape fairy lights from cranes and cooling towers and other large machinery, but in high-risk areas, make sure that your staff have not put up any unshielded cabling or conventional lights that could create a completely unnecessary risk.
- Emergency stops
Check that hazardous area equipment has a working emergency stop function and that hazardous areas have well signposted emergency exits too – providing quick protection for personnel if an incident occurs, and making sure everyone gets home for a happy Christmas this year.