Don't Ignore Line of Fire Safety: Here's What You Need to Know

Don’t Ignore Line of Fire Safety: Here’s What You Need to Know

Did you know failure to have proper line of fire safety training could result in serious injuries? Line of fire hazards are one of the most deadly hazards in the construction and manufacturing industries — and are second only to slip and fall accidents.

Approximately 27% of deaths in the workplace are directly related to line of fire accidents. Instead of dealing with these unfavorable outcomes, creating a line of fire safety plan can help keep everyone in your workforce safe.  

What Is Line of Fire?

Line of fire is a term that refers to when workers place themselves in harm’s way by virtue of the type of work they perform. Line of fire injuries can occur in virtually any work environment, but regularly occur in both construction and manufacturing in the following areas:

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    Machinery
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    Heavy equipment
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    Material handling
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    Hand and power tools
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    Mobile equipment
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    Unsafe behaviors
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    Excavations

Why Is Line of Fire Safety Important?

Hazard awareness in the workplace, and especially in the construction and manufacturing industry is an invaluable skill for your employees to have. When they have the ability to identify potential hazards, they’ll be better able to prevent and ultimately remove them from the work environment. One of the core components of line of fire safety is the ability to identify hazards to avoid preventable injuries.

Understanding the Types of Line of Fire Safety Hazards

In the process of considering the possibility of workplace injuries, make sure to understand the following ways your employees could get caught in the line of fire and be injured:

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    Caught-in hazards occur when workers could possibly be caught in between or inside of different objects.
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    Struck by hazards happen when an employee could hit or struck by an object.
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    Energy released hazards exist when your employees are in the path of a released hazardous energy.

After you understand the most common types of hazards, you can move forward with classifying the types of settings and activities that cause workplace injuries.

Tips for Increasing Line of Fire Safety

Whether you’re working on a construction site or manufacturing warehouse, you can encourage your workers to use the following tips to avoid line of fire risks.

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    Never pull tools or equipment toward your body or face. Instead, you should work the equipment away from your body.
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    Since hazard identification is a key component of line of fire safety, a Job Safety Analysis should always be performed to effectively identify all hazards prior to any work beginning.
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    Anytime you’re hoisting materials, make sure to barricade the area surrounding the hoisting zone.
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    If someone is working around equipment, it’s vital the operator knows where they are at all times.
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    When someone is working around equipment that could possibly start up or is controlled remotely, it’s imperative to lock and tag it out.
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    Workers should never attempt to work with or around equipment that has missing guard controls.
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    Anytime equipment has been tagged out or locked, employees should never attempt to operate it. Employees should also never attempt to remove the tag or lock.
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    Make sure to be cognizant of any and all weather conditions that could possibly put someone in the line of fire. For example, if winds are severe and materials are not properly secured, it could place workers in the line of fire.

Keep Your Employees Out of the Line of Fire

To help your employees with line of fire safety and increase hazard awareness, it’s important to understand the four behavioral states that typically result in line-of-fire- incidents and accidents.

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    Fatigue — A tired employee is a dangerous employee.
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    Rushing — When someone is in a hurry, they’re much more likely to take unnecessary risks to complete the job.
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    Frustration — If someone is angry, annoyed, or irritated, the likelihood of them stepping into the line of fire is increased.
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    Complacency — Just because an employee may have completed a task several times and never been hurt before, it doesn’t mean complacency will not guide them into the line of fire.

Contact Premier Safety Partners for Line of Fire Safety

Each day, your employees will complete a variety of potentially dangerous tasks. Although most of those tasks do not result in injury, continually staying in the line of fire can quickly lead to costly and/or fatal safety incidents. However, most line of fire injuries are completely preventable, and the experts at Premier Safety Partners can help you and your workers stay out of the line of fire.

Contact Premier Safety Partners today for a free line of fire safety consultation.

About the Author

Scott Ray is an industry leader in Health and Safety. Recognized for his business acumen and innovative approach, Scott has a track record in successfully implementing H&S systems that result in fostering a culture of operational excellence. His 25 year Health and Safety career includes both technical and leadership experience within diverse industries including energy/utilities, manufacturing, higher education, construction, defense and aerospace.