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Industrial Safety


The shocked incident happened on March 23, 2005, at BP Texas City Refinery’s octane-boosting isomerization (ISOM) unit. The blow-down unit was vented directly to the atmosphere. A nearby idling pick up truck, caused the explosion and fires through the unit and the surrounding areas, killing 15 people, destroying 13 trailers, and damaging 27 others, some were parked 479 feet away. Safety standard of BP had always been very high on my list until 2005. The first question I asked was: Why was the pick up truck not fitted with a spark arrester? The next question was : why were the trailers allowed to parked at an area where combustible gas could present?
If this sort of accident can happen to BP, just how safe are all the other engineering concerns?

Less than 50% of the industrial accidents in most countries are ever documented or reported in the local media. If an accident happens, the victim is normally the one to be blamed and for the temporary workers, the employers simply terminate their service. Often, it is only when the nature of the accident which can not be covered up, that the accident is covered by the media.

One resident engineer openly said that he did not want to see accident reports documented because he wanted to show the number of accidents in his yard as zero for the whole year. Quick surprisingly, he was able to cover up all the accidents. No wonder there were cases where the corpses of illegal foreign workers were reported.
The safety officer must report directly to a government body and not to the resident engineer (RE), because the RE can bias against the Safety officer since the RE may enjoy substantial benefits from the contractor like getting free lifts every day from house to office and vice versa. Other benefits are normally the payment of the house rents, the laundry bills and the bills from restaurant. At the moment, in many Asian countries most safety officers only appear on paper. They are actually people who are doing something else for the employers.

Majority of our contractors still think of industrial safety as a burden and a waste of time and money. They must be educated to understand that industrial safety will actually increase their productivity and lower the production cost.
As the average education level of the workers grows higher, a day will come when many of these workers are able to sue the employers for damages like noise-induced hearing loss, loss of eye-sight etc. The subsequent compensation claims could be very high.

Non-compliance must be treated severely and the responsible parties heavily fined in terms of money or sent to jail for an appropriate duration. Otherwise, the Government can not protect its citizens from unscrupulous employers.

Stop work orders must be issued for any non-compliance audited. The construction yards or factories must be audited by the Government personnel at least once every two weeks. Containers which are meant for transporting cargoes must not be used as living quarters for the workers. Can you imagine how dangerous it could be for a 20-footer-container, 10 feet wide, and 8 feet high to be used as a quarter for 12 persons? During an emergency, how do the workers escape, since there is only one door? I saw only one electric fan and there were seven persons with lighted cigarettes in that container.

All engineering courses in universities must include industrial safety as a compulsory subject and all undergraduates must undergo three-month industrial training on Safety with local companies before they are allowed to graduate.

For the non-graduate, a ten year industrial experience and a Secondary School Education must be the minimum qualifications a candidate should have before he / she is allowed to take an industrial safety course and to receive an industrial safety certificate. The industrial safety course must run for one year with every Saturday as a compulsory attendance for the candidate. The pass marks for all the papers must be 80% or higher.

The local construction industry must liaise more closely with the Government and the Government personnel must go more often to the yards to carry out more thorough checks. For example the local contractors use crawler cranes without safety certificates. But when the Government personnel went to the site office, the safety personnel were shown a bunch of certificates from somewhere else. If this sort of practice is allowed, then one certificate of fitness can be used for millions of equipment.

Safety cannot be learned in the classroom. Just like the best training for soccer is to go into the field and practise. Safety is best learned in the field. Of course the safety officer must be around to train the workers. It is his/her duty to assist the workers to identify the hazards, to take precautions, to prevent and to carry out the protection from those hazards.

The best trained workers are the ones having a good knowledge of the jobs, with good skills and experience. They are most valuable to the company because without them, the company will not survive.

Each new recruit must be informed of the company safety policies and he/she must be shown around the new surroundings. The places where written entry permits are required must be briefed and those places clearly indicated.

Minimum safety gears

The minimum safety gears each worker has to put on every day are: safety hats, safety glasses, long sleeve shirt, trousers, and safety boots. For those working in noisy areas, the earmuffs or plugs must also be worn. For the workers working in dusty areas, the respirators (air filters) must be worn. These items are all provided free of charge. Any worker caught not complying would be given a first verbal warning. If he were caught again, he would be given a warning letter and told to leave the yard or worksite until he was able to come back with the appropriate safety gears. The same person if caught with the safety violation within the next 12 months, his service would be immediately terminated, and he would not be able to work in that company forever.

Certificate of fitness

I discovered some contractors who used crawler cranes were using a bunch of certificates which were not belonging to the cranes on site. Complaints to the authorities fell on deaf ears in some countries.

Silt trap

Design of a wash trough must be approved by a government body and it must be functioning every hour of the day. It is no use having a wash trough, when it is never used and whenever the DOSH personnel come to audit the yard, they are told that the High pressure pump only broke down that morning.
The silt content at the discharge must be not more than 50 mg per Liter of effluent. Dissolved oxygen must not exceed 7 mg/Litre. Biological oxygen demand must not exceed 20 mg/Litre.


There were also cases of the stems of gate valves installed overhead with a less than 6.5 feet distance from the ground or platform. These stems which were installed horizontally must be seven feet or higher because they would pose as hazards for people walking along the area to knock the head on the stems.
They must be designed by professional engineer and licence from the authorities must be obtained before they are to be used. The safety hardness must be fastened to the lifeline and not to the handrails.

Hot-work Permit

Workers working in areas where they could be combustible gas leakage, must have the areas gas tested first before they are allowed to do hot work there. The hot work permits must be re-validated if the worksite has been abandoned for four hours.
Only qualified personnel should be allowed to certify an area is gas free. The instruments used must be certified by a qualified agency.

It is common for companies wanting to save time and money to say that the areas were tested gas free the previous day, and therefore they must be safe today. This sort of assumption can cost lives, injuries or property loss, and in one plant, a fire was actually started.

A fire watcher with proper fire-extinguishers must be onsite until the hot work has been completed.

Permit to Work

All the jobs in the plant and the yard must be properly coordinated. Only one coordinator must be allowed to approve permit to work system daily and an area where the approved job is not in progress for more that 4 hours needs a new permit.
Testing of Safety valves

All pressure relief valves must be re-tested every two years and the pressure at which the valve will open, and the day the valve was pressure tested, must be clearly engraved on stainless steel plate and fastened on the body of the safety valve. It is no use putting on safety valve only to find later that the explosion occurred because the valve was of a very much higher rating and therefore it did not open when the pressure in the vessel went beyond the safe range.

Pressure Gauges

Ensure that your pressure gauges are serviced by qualified personnel regularly. People were killed when the pressure gauges on the pressurized vessels indicated “0 PSI” and they were opening the doors which provided access for workers and tools. Those pressurized doors would be blown off once the nuts which were holding them down were removed.

Safety Hardness

Workers working on high areas must be provided with safety hardness, and not just a safety belt. The safety hardness must be tested and certified by qualified personnel at least once a year. If a safety hardness is defective, do you still want to use it? If you don't, then discard it to prevent others from using it. During a fall, the safety belt can prevent the worker from dropping to the ground. It cannot prevent the worker from breaking his spinal cord. During job interview, recruits who were expected to work on high places must be told the truth. Some people cannot climb height and these were the people most likely to get hurt if they were told to work at high locations.

Mobile Crane & others

The maximum lift capacity must never be exceeded. Joystick controllers and other instruments must be inspected and tested on a regular basis. Is the leveling indicator functioning properly? Is it fixed on your crane? When was the last time those wire ropes on the crane load tested ? Are the rollers in good condition? Are all the certification documents in order and still valid. Is your crane operator certified ?

For tower cranes I would suggest they must not be in operation again if they are more than 10 years old. If you must use it, have the unit recertified by qualified persons..

People not involved in the lifting job must be at least 30 meters away from the crane.

For a Pre Lift Checklist and other crane info, please visit :

Lifting slings & tag lines

All lifting slings must be load tested and a safety certificate issued. The safe working load for the sling and the date it was tested must be engraved on stainless steel plate and attached to the sling. A qualified surveyor must inspect the slings (fiber or steel) once a year. Any sling, which is not safe, for use must be destroyed and discarded. Manila ropes must not be used for lifting. Riggers involved in lifting and shifting of heavy items must attend a basic course of safety on lifting. They must be taught the proper use of tag lines on each end of the load for complete control during maneuvering because it is human nature to move close to the load and use the hands to push or drag the load to the desired location.

In cases where the load is not within the length of your arms, the load would be left out of control. If it is a very heavy load, e.g. two tons or more and with pointed ends (e.g. I beams, Angle Irons etc), this load can cause a lot of harm like puncturing the oxygen and acetylene cylinders, knocking off the scaffolding near by or crushing into the workers in the surrounding areas. Lives have been lost because people believed by not putting on the tag lines, they saved a lot of time and money.

The tension on the wire rope of the crane increases as far as ten times if the load is allowed to swing from one end to the other end. Cranes with this problem had crushed down, the boom and the load, killing people around it or injuring them.

One engineer was killed with the pilot of the chopper he hired to install a structure on top of another structure and the lifting sling could not be released from onboard the chopper. Not many chopper pilots are trained or licensed to airlift construction equipment and assist the installation on sites.

Grounding for Welding machine

The most recent incident I came across was people using diesel powered welding sets not willing to provide grounding for the machine. It took only one copper rod, 0.5-inch dia, and 12 inches long and a piece of high-tension cable 1.5 meter long to ground the machine and make it safe. I was told those people were doing the jobs during the past many years and they never had a problem. I had to tell the employer it was mandatory to have the welding machine provided with adequate wiring for grounding.

The body can sense a current of 1 mille ampere. A current of 20 mA or so could prove fatal by contraction of the heart muscles.


When workers have to dig trenches with machine, they must be provided with drawings showing the locations of where the underground cables are and that they must know the depth of the cables. When the excavator (Trench Hoe) has removed the top portion of the soil, the workers must manually shovel the remaining layers of soil by spades and hoes when the cable is 6 inches below the excavated area. There was one incident where the people excavating above the high-tension cable were not briefed about this and the Trench Hoe pulled up the high-tension cable causing a major black out.
The management concerned thought it would be faster using the Trench Hoe to dig until the cable was visible. That was a very expensive lesson.
Even with a map to guide the workers, it is still necessary to have a person qualified to use a cable detector to reconfirm the exact location and the direction of the existing cables.

Trench five feet deep or more must be shored. Planks and trench jacks must be used to support the braces from falling down.
Always remember that the earth will not always fall from the top or the sides of the trench. It can bulge from under your feet. Many people in some parts of the world died because the earth under their feet moved for some reason causing the shoring to fail.

Excavated materials must be placed at least 0.65 metre away from the trench wall.
Where the depth of the excavation is greater than the width, and the maximum depth is not more than 15 feet, ordinary shoring can be used.
For excavation greater than 20 feet, OSHA requires the protective system to be designed by a registered professional engineer.

High sound pressure level

The next incident I had to solve was people had to work in enclosed areas where the noise level was dB(A) 88 or above all the time. These workers had to work 12 hours per day, six days per week. Without using the earmuffs or earplugs, people would start to lose their hearing capability within a few weeks. When they found out it was always too late. All workers who have to work in high Sound Pressure Level area, dB(A) 85 and above, must be briefed on the hazards of noise exposure. I also came across workers in these areas not willing to put on the earmuffs provided, giving the excuse the earmuffs would make them sweat more profusely. They also cited that they worked for many weeks there and non-of them had hearing problem.
Noise level must be maintained below 65 dBA during the day time. The use of noise buffers such as hoarding must be encouraged. Noise level must not exceed 55 dBA during night time if the workers are sleeping near the construction yards.
If a worker must be exposed to a location where the noise level is 80 dBA or higher, for more than one hour, protective ear muffs must be worn.

Radioactive materials

Commercial radioactive sources are usually metallic in nature, for example Cobalt-60 which has an effective penetrating power of 225 mm of steel plate. This source must be encapsulated in protective covering, which may be a thin sheath of stainless steel or aluminum. By containing the radioactive material in a capsule of this type, it prevents the possibility of accidental mishandling. The encapsulated source must be housed in a lead line steel container and is to be left in isolated location with fence surrounding it for safety reason.

When the X-ray is in progress, a sufficiently large area must be roped off and warning signs posted to keep all personnel outside the danger area.
The currently accepted dose for classified workers is 1 mSv (0.1 rad) for a five-day working week and the maximum dosage for a year is 50 mSv (5 rad).


Scaffolders must be trained on site. Scaffolding timber boards must not be painted because the paint would cover up the defective portion and can endanger workers' lives. Toe boards and handrails must be provided.

According to ANSI A10.8, the light duty scaffold is designed for 25 lbs per square foot. Equipment and material storage on the scaffolds are not allowed.
The Medium duty scaffolds are designed for 50 lbs per square foot. Light materials like bricklayers' and plasters' works are allowed to be left on board.
The Heavy Duty scaffolds are designed for 75 lbs per square foot. Masonry items or materials are allowed to be stored on these scaffolds.

Working Over time

All workers must be given a period of continuous rest of 8 hours per day. This is mandatory as most of the industrial accidents are caused by workers who were over exhausted.

Safety Hat

An average safety hat is only effective for three years because of ultra violet degration or other factors. It must be able to withstand an impact of 5 Kg object from a height of 10 meters, dropping vertically downward. There are products in the market which do not conform to this standard.
If you need different hardhat colours to identify your workers, talk to the manufacturers or their representatives. It is very dangerous to paint those hardhats with the colours you wish. The industrial paints will certainly weaken the strength of the hardhats.

Face shield

There were also incidents where I had to tell workers to put on the face shields when they were grinding with pneumatic or electrical tools. In many cases, the face shields were available at the grinding locations. But there were few cases which the face shields were not available at all.

Safety Glasses

Most of the safety glasses found on the market are only good enough to prevent dust or foreign bodies coming toward your eyes from your front and right or left sides. They are not constructed to prevent objects coming vertically from above your head or below your head.

Go and shop for a pair that is good for you. If I tell you the brand, the other makers would be very much offended.
In dark places, dark safety glasses would not be suitable. Employees working at night, or at dark places must not be using dark safety glasses.

Safety goggles

I had also come across many cases which the oxy-acetylene cutter refused to use the safety goggles provided. In many cases, contractors also failed to provide the goggles.

Handling of Oxygen & acetylene bottles

At many construction yards, I came across workers dropping the oxygen and acetylene cylinders to the cement floor from the lorries. They could not believe this act could damage the cylinders. The screw caps for the cylinders were also never used. The excuse was that even the suppliers did not provide the caps. The caps are needed for safety reason. For example, the cylinders are left in the standing position, there could be oils or grease dropping onto the screw heads at the top of the cylinders causing explosion.

Workers have been killed because the valves on the cylinders shot off suddenly. The wounds were more horrible than those of the gun shots.
Cylinders must not be placed less than five meters away from welding sets, compressors, and generators etc.


In dusty areas or areas with fumes, respirators must be worn.
Fine asbestos dust is produced during the manufacture of asbestos products, or while these products are being used in the construction yards.

The nasal hairs in your nose wave back and forth from 8 to 12 times per second. Up to a certain extent, they help to filter the air you breathe in, blocking dirt and dust from getting into your lungs. They sweep the bacteria and other pollutants that enter the nose, with the mucus to the back of the nose where we swallow them. The bacteria are killed by the acid in the stomach. However, unfortunately, for asbestos dust, these hairs are simply not effective.

For this reason, people working with asbestos must wear respirators. Asbestos dust must be washed with water and never be blown with compressed air. The surgical masks used by medical doctors are to prevent the substances from the doctor’s nostril dropping on to the patient. They cannot prevent the asbestos dust, which can be less than 1 micron long, from going into the nostrils. The average diameter of the human hair is 50 microns. You need electrostatic respirators to capture particles which are less than a micron in diameter. Most of the respirators on the market are not able to do this. Find out from your safety officer.

The US employers made this mistake before and many of them are still paying compensation today, (2004). In the U.S., a privately funded, government-run USD 140 billion trust had been created to pay work-related asbestos claims and it is estimated that this amount of money will not be able to pay all the valid claims. Are there no work-related asbestos victims in Asia?

Japan was the only Asian country so far that came out openly with a documented record of the deadly carcinogen which caused mesothelioma, a cancer caused by carcinogen.

Please visit for more info.
During crushing of granite rocks, sand-blasting, removal of sand sticking to metal castings etc., fine particles of silica are produced.

The proper use of respirators with very fine filters, will prevent the silica and asbestos dust from going into the lungs, and the wood dust into the nostrils. The silica can cause fibrosis of the lungs and the asbestos dust can cause lung cancer, while the wood dust can cause nose cancer.
When woods are swan, it is advisable to require the carpenters and those exposed to this hazard to put on the correct respirators.

Smoke Extractor

Smoke extractor must remove all the smoke in the room within 60 seconds
because a person in that room will die within five minutes. Make sure it is in running condition and confirm it once every two weeks.

Cigarette Smoke

Ideally, cigarette smoke should be prohibited from all work sites. In a non-smoking environment, the workers will be healthier and productivity will be higher.
Second hand smoke contains over 50 cancer-causing chemicals. Good ventilation systems will not get rid of second hand smoke. Second hand smoke also cause diseases and pre-mature death in children. Even the non-smoking adults will not be spared. The risk of developing cancer and heart diseases is between 25 and 30 %. Children living with smokers have a higher risk of asthma, ear problem, respiratory problems and sudden infant death syndrome.

Ventilation System

The ventilation system should actuate an alarm when there is a breakdown in the pump room or engine room. A physical check procedure must be carried out immediately.
Safety Procedure check list

All equipment must be provided with a safety check list and the list must be checked accordingly by a qualified person. His name and the checked date must appear on the list.

Live Electrical Cables

The cables must be tagged clearly. If they are laid underground, the exact locations and the depths must be clearly indicated above the ground. The startup buttons of equipment must be locked to prevent unauthorized use of those equipment.
Emergency Shut down

For some plants, especially on oil and gas fields, emergency shut down knobs are provided. If there is an emergency, example, a fire and your life is in danger, just push or pull the shut-down knob to prevent more oil or gas from escaping.
Hundreds of people were burn to death just because a few workers were afraid to shut down the platform when a certain location of the platform was already burning. Ask yourself, can the big brother who is authorized to shut down the platform come out to do it? What happens if he is already dead? Don't you want to stay alive?

Entry to Confined space:

All workers who must work in confined space must be trained. Before any one is allowed to enter the confined space, the place must be certified free of combustible and toxic gases. If the confined space is not properly flushed with compressed air, the people who want to enter the area must be equipped with breathing apparatus and each cylinder must be able to supply enough air for the person to go in and come out safely. The normal air requirement for an average person is 10 cubic feet per minute.

If workers must work in the confined space, the space must be flushed with compressed air for at least 4 hours continuously and be certified safe by a qualified gas tester. For example, if a fractional column has a base of 10 meters in dia and a height of 90 meters. We shall need a compressor that can produce one cubic meter of air per second at 150 psi to flush the column continuously for 4 hours. This inlet air supply must be plugged at the lowest point at the base of the column with a one-inch connection to the compressor outlet. The outlet for the air to escape must be at the highest point of the column.

Do not enter without breathing apparatus if the oxygen level is 19.5% or less by volume. However, if the level is 23.5% or more by volume, it is also not safe to enter because at this level, it is explosive.

Combustible organic compounds inside a tank can be as high as 30%. A combustible gas meter analyzer must be used to confirm the volume of the combustible gas.

Many years ago, a technician was inspecting a vessel for petrol storage. He was carrying a lighted electric bulb. When the lighted bulb was accidentally broken in that vessel, he died on the spot because of the violent explosion.

The most recent work-related death because of negligence was documented in 2005 when an engineer went inside a compartment on board a ship for inspection. He died in that compartment. The hatches for ventilation were all closed. The next time you are asked to enter a confined space, ask yourself the following questions:

Who are the people qualified to approve permit for vessels and confined space entry?

Are the gas testers qualified?

Are the instruments used for the testing in good condition?

Spray painting:

No smoking signs must be displayed at all the areas where people can come near. The working area must be barricaded. The painters must be provided with respirators. No smoking should be allowed around the painting areas. In the past, explosions had occurred causing lives and properties. Should we allow history to repeat?
For workers with exposure to peeling lead-based paints, the respirators must be of the standard which can stop the lead dust from going into the human noses.

Explosive Metal Powders

Because of their high surface to area volume ratio, metal powders are explosive, particularly aluminum, magnesium, titanium, zirconium and thorium.
When handling explosive metal powders, note the following:
Grounding the equipment,
Preventing sparks,
Avoiding friction,
Avoiding dust clouds,
Avoiding open flames,
Avoiding chemical reactions


All forklift operators must be properly trained. Especially during the reverse, some operators never see what was behind. They assumed it was empty. This sort of assumption resulted in one death in 1974 when a worker was standing against a wall and an operator reversed toward him crushing him to death on the spot.
Another case happened when the operator did not see behind and ran his fork on a pavement, breaking the vertical portion of the fork beyond repair.

Compressed air:

Workers must not use compressed air to clean the bodies. Compressed air must never be used to test for leaks in pipes and vessels. Incidents had happened in the past and people were killed or badly injured by compressed air.


Workers must not use petrol to clean the hands and paint brushes. Petrol must never be left unprotected. Check with your local authorities regarding the maximum quantity or volume you may be allowed to stock in your plant or workshop, and also the necessary precautions you have to ensure, like the containment, fences etc.


Life jackets must be worn when workers have to work at places above deep water and the chances to fall into the water are high. There must be a life-jacket for everybody when your workers have to cross a mass of water and they must be taught the correct method to put on the life-jacket. The life-jackets must be genuine products and each jacket must be able to keep a person afloat for at least 24 hours.

Welding Shop:

In a welding shop, each welder's work area must be surrounded by blinds to prevent the light of the welding arcs from reaching the people moving around these areas. The welding arcs can cause permanent blindness if a person is exposed to them sufficiently long enough.

For light duty welding, normally 200 Amps or lower, the following protective items are considered adequate: woolen or cotton clothing, cloth gloves, and welding helmets.

For Heavy Duty welding, the following items are needed: leather gauntlet gloves, leather jacket, leather apron, spats, safety shoes, and welding helmets with filter glasses.

Welding fumes can cause shortness of breath and other diseases. Welders who work in confined space conditions are the ones who will suffer this disease.



In most countries, the effluent that is drained into public places, drains, rivers, seas etc must not contain more than 15 ppm of oil. It is very expensive to stick to this target. But the resulting fines would definitely be more expensive.

Your company may be able to get away with it at the moment because of the existing corrupt governments. But how do you make sure the next government will be just as corrupt? Don’t you think an incorruptible government may be elected next? By then, the fines will be many times more expensive than the expenses you have to spend on treating the effluent properly before dumping it into the sea.

(Shouldn’t the governments reward people who come forward to report abused cases?)

According to a Smithsonian Institution report, in 1995 alone, 363 millions gallons of used oils ended up in the oceans as run-of from land, municipal or industrial areas. In a polluted river, the water is smelly and discoloured. When oil enters a slow moving river, it forms a rainbow-coloured film over the surface. This layer prevents oxygen from entering the water, killing the animals in the river. Even birds are affected. The feathers of water birds can be contaminated and when they preen, the oil enters the gut, thus killing them.

It does not take a specialist to confirm a biologically dead river. Just stand at the river mouth, facing the sea. Can you see trees or creatures three hundred meters from your left and right?

Oil pollution disrupts sea and shore life for thousands of miles in Asia. The beautiful coral reefs and mangroves, once existed at those areas are gone. Didn’t they have a chance to exist too?

In September 2007, 378 000 volunteers from Ocean Conservancy, scoured 33 000 miles of shorelines and collected 6 million pounds of debris, from Bahrain to Bangladesh, and in 45 U.S. States, from Southern California to Maine. Why didn't they include South-East Asia in the project?

A healthy earth will surely result in more healthy humans. How many more years do we have to wait to see some concrete projects being put into practice?

Potable water

A pH lower than 7 indicates the water is acidic. If your potable water comes from doubtful sources, send the samples for lab analysis every week. It is also advisable to analyse the water for lead content.

Toxic Gases

The following 13 gases are dangerous to handle unless you are trained to do so.
If in doubt, seek professional guidance.
Hydrogen chloride
Hydrogen cyanide
Hydrogen sulphide
Hydrogen fluoride
Carbon monoxide
Sulphur dioxide
Carbon dioxide
Nitrogen dioxide
Nitric oxide

Combustible Gases

The following (not exhaustive list) 11 gases are combustible. How do you make sure your worksites will not be blown up by one of them? Do you know that the gas testing must be done at regular interval?

Carbon disulphide
Ethylene oxide

Methyl Bromide

This substance is very effective fumigant, readily penetrating soil and timber. It is highly toxic. Symptoms of poisoning are: resemble drunkenness, may be delayed for several hours. A victim may take years to recover. The gas is first smelled when in a concentration of 10000 parts per million and by then it is too late, poisoning having occurred at 35 ppm.
An area should not be fumigated with methyl bromide until it has been searched and evacuated.

Metal Chips

Metal chips from milling or drilling machines are razor-sharp and should never be removed with your hands or compressed air. The flying chips may injure you or those nearby. One technician had his eye removed because metal chip was found in his eye and it was too late to save that eye. Would you like this to happen to you?
The cutting oils used for machining can create a highly flammable oil mist if compressed air is applied to them. This mist can be ignited by an open flame causing an explosion.

It is therefore best to remove the accumulated chips by a paintbrush.


In the developing countries, this is the most neglected topic. Workers are expected to excrete and urinate in the wood. For hygienic and safety reasons, when there are less than 50 male workers in the yard, the following are needed:
Water closet (2) Urinal (3) Wash basin (3)

The number of water closets, urinals, and wash basins must be increased proportionately as the number of workers increases. There must be 24 hour supply of water in the toilets and the toilet facilities must be cleaned daily.


Litter must be removed from the yard once in the morning and once in the evening before the workers leave the yard. The litter must be dumped at designated dumping ground.

Pest control

Mosquitoes and houseflies must be fogged at least once every month. Stagnant pools of water must be removed immediately.

Cats and dogs must not be allowed to run around in your worksites, or to breed there. One male and one female flea can multiply to 1000000 fleas within 100 days. Your workers' health may be affected and thus efficiency will definitely go down.

Majority of the contractors still think industrial safety is a burden and a waste of time and money. They must be educated to understand that industrial safety will actually increase their productivity and lower production cost.


During grit-blasting, some portions of the steels actually turn into powder. This powder can travel up to 100 metres or farther depending on the speed and direction of the wind. It is no use putting up canvas 8 feet high in the form of a fence, giving the workers that false impression of safety. It is best done at night, when majority of the workers are off-duty, if a confined space is too expensive to erect. When the metal powders go into the lungs, there is no way to get them out. Though the results will only be noted many years later, the workers and the victims can still sue the employers if the evidences are available and the lawyers who are well-versed in this field are willing to take up the cases.

As the average education of the workers grows higher, the day will come when many of these workers will be able to sue the employers for damages like noise-induced hearing loss, and occupational loss of eyesight, lung cancer, welders’ diseases etc. The subsequent compensation claims could be very high. Moreover, this course will minimize or avoid the environmental liabilities many of which may carry civil or criminal penalties in future as the governments of the countries you are working in become more and more transparent every day.

When your engineers attend this course, they will not die inside a rotating drum, their oxygen cylinder will not explode, and they will not die inside a chopper which was dragged down by the wire ropes, or inside a tunnel because they were rushing around telling the workers to abandon the worksite.

Don’t you want to know the over 24 types of gas that can kill or harm your employees and how to handle them?