The Risk Management Tool Box Blog

Properties of Benzene

Graham Marshall - Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Benzene is one of most widely used feedstock chemicals in the World.

It is used in the production of chemicals that are then used to make plastics, resins, nylon, and other synthetic fibers.

Benzene is today found in air, water, and in the soil.

Small amounts of benzene, which are not harmful, can be found in fruit, fish, vegetables, nuts, dairy products, beverages, and eggs.

Benzene vapours are emitted from petrol and are also found in cigarette smoke, and products manufactured with benzene.

You are exposed to small amounts of benzene wherever the air contains tobacco smoke, and around automotive service stations, vehicle exhausts, and industrial emissions.

Indoor air can also contain benzene from products such as glue, paint, furniture wax, and detergents.

Approximately half the national exposure to benzene comes from smoking cigarettes or being exposed to cigarette smoke, indoors or outdoors.

If you work at a facility that makes or uses benzene, including petroleum refining sites, pharmaceutical plants, petrochemical manufacturing facilities, rubber tire manufacturing facilities, or gas stations, you will likely be exposed to higher levels of benzene than the general population.

You may also be exposed to benzene if you are a steel worker, printer, shoemaker, laboratory technician, or firefighter.

In the United States, benzene is classed as a carcinogen by the National Toxicology Program because it is shown to cause cancer.

Short-term exposure to high levels of benzene affects the central nervous system, and can cause paralysis, coma, convulsions, dizziness, sleepiness, rapid heart rate, tightness of the chest, tremors, and rapid breathing.

Breathing very high levels of benzene, or eating or drinking foods contaminated with high levels of benzene, can cause death.

Always ensure you're working from an applicable MSDS if benzene is in use in your workplace.



BHP Billiton Supervisor Training

Graham Marshall - Tuesday, May 31, 2011

It is a BHP Billiton requirement in its WA Iron-Ore Business that all contractors have their supervisors trained and assessed in specific Units of Competency, before site mobilization can commence.

Successful completion of each unit must be recognized in the form of a certificate issued by an Australian Registered Training Organization.

To find out more details, click this link.



Safety is no accident - work at height

Graham Marshall - Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Over the next few days I'm posting links to some provocative OSHA safety adverts.

They make the good point that accidents don't just happen.

In every workplace, there are always hazards and associated triggering mechanisms that need to be properly identified and controlled.

Click here to see the fourth advert.

To manage hazards and triggers at your work place, always Think 6, Look 6.


Concreting and Formwork JSA

Graham Marshall - Monday, May 30, 2011
In the little back-room of my blog, I've noticed someone searching repeatedly for a JSA using the search phrase "concreting, steel fixing  and form work". 

While I'm OK with people spending hours searching the internet for "free" stuff, it sometimes may pay just to get your hand in your pocket and cough up the cash to buy a good resource.

If you're looking for a JSA on concreting, I'd suggest you click this link and spend the huge amount of $11 to get what you really need.

That way you can stop wasting your time on internet searching and get on with making the job safe!

Have a good day from the team at the Risk Tool Box. 

J



 

Danger of Welding in Fuel Tanks

Graham Marshall - Monday, May 30, 2011
Following up on Friday's post (27th May) about an explosion in NSW, today I notice that three workers have died at a Russian Far East oil storage facility after a fuel reservoir exploded.

The blast took place in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, on the east coast of the Kamchatka peninsula.

Once again, those killed were welders working inside an empty pre-used fuel storage tank.

The explosion broke windows of residences hundreds of meters from the storage site and nearby homes were evacuated.

Local Police were investigating why the three man welding team was performing hot-work inside a poorly-ventilated storage unit.

To access a Job Safety Analysis on safe confined entry working, simply click here.
 

Safety is no accident - electrical work

Graham Marshall - Monday, May 30, 2011
Over the next few days I'm posting links to some provocative OSHA safety adverts.

They make the good point that accidents don't just happen.

In every workplace, there are always hazards and associated triggering mechanisms that need to be properly identified and controlled.

Click here to see the third advert.

To manage hazards and triggers at your work place, always use Think 6, Look 6.

Safety is no accident - operating forklifts

Graham Marshall - Sunday, May 29, 2011
Over the next few days I'm posting links to some provocative OSHA safety adverts.

They make the good point that accidents don't just happen.

In any workplace, there are always hazards and associated triggering mechanisms that need to be properly identified and controlled.

Click here to see the second advert in the series.

To manage hazards and triggers at your work place, always use Think 6, Look 6.



Safety is no accident - hot work

Graham Marshall - Saturday, May 28, 2011
Over the next few days I'm posting links to some provocative OSHA safety adverts.

They make the good point that accidents don't just happen.

In every workplace, there are always hazards and associated triggering mechanisms that need to be properly identified and managed.

Click here to see the first advert.

To manage hazards and triggers at your work place, always use Think 6, Look 6.



Dangers of Welding on Tanks Highlighted

Graham Marshall - Friday, May 27, 2011
The dangers of attempting to oxy-cut or hot-weld on pre-used fuel drums and tanks has again been highlighted by an explosion at Narrawallee in the New South Wales (Australia).

The explosion of a 44-gallon drum in a garage has left a 35-year-old work-man in a critical condition with a fractured skull, severe facial and head wounds and extreme blood loss.

Local Police say the man was using his oxy-welder on a the drum when the explosion occurred.

The man was struck by the lid of the drum as it exploded.
 
Highlighting the energy involved in the explosion, the lid was found in the driveway of a house three doors down the street.

The workman was airlifted to Sydney's Royal North Shore Hospital for specialist treatment last night.


The importance of hazard spotting

Jay Stansell - Friday, May 27, 2011

Hazard spotting is the most important safety tool in every workers tool-bag.

It is important to note that hazard spotting is a process and not just a paperwork exercise.  By this we mean it is a particular course of action intended to achieve a result. 

The result we are looking for is a known list of hazards associated with a specific function, or simply, awareness by workers of hazards associated with jobs they are performing.

Regardless of the level of complexity and phase of the project life-cycle, the hazard spotting process remains exactly the same during all phases of the project.  That is:

»            We must identify all of the hazards;

»            We must assess the hazards in terms of the level of risk they pose;

»            We must develop and implement reasonable control measures; and

»            We must continue to monitor by continually identifying, assessing and controlling hazards.

In summary, hazard spotting is the process of recognising that a hazard exists.  It involves classifying its characteristics in order that we can make decisions about the level of, and types of controls we will implement.  We want to safeguard ourselves, the job, and the environment in which we’re working.

This process of hazard spotting is critical because when hazards are overlooked they eventually lead to incidents and injuries, illnesses or fatalities.  Since hazards are all around us, we must spot them wherever they exist. 

Remember - look up, look down, look left and right and look in front and look behind.


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