Blocked Fire Exits
Maintaining a clutter free work area is critical to having a safe and efficient shop.
Good overall housekeeping is the first step in preventing fires. A cluttered work station increased the risk of fire by providing fuel and allowing the fire to spread. Eliminating potential fuel sources may prevent the fire from starting in the first place. Potential fuel sources include scrap material, unused pallets, flammable and/or combustible chemicals not in use, soiled rags, etc.
Poor housekeeping can also hamper the ability of the employees to exit the building. Excessive clutter and obstruct pathways or blocked fire exits are a significant safety hazard. Having to take the time to clear an obstructed pathway or blocked exit could be the difference between life and death.
Supervisors should ensure all fire exits are well marked and employees know the procedures for exiting the building in the event of an emergency. Many work areas are provided with portable fire extinguishers. If employees are expected to use fire extinguishers for incipient firefighting, training must be provided. Employees should also be trained to know when a fire is too big to extinguish with a portable fire extinguisher and to exit the building immediately.
Supervisors should inspect the work area daily to ensure fire exits are not blocked and exit doors are unlocked. If adverse conditions are identified, immediate action should be taken.