Health & Safety

Health & Safety

Please Check And Use The Right Chargers….

Unfortunately, we had an employee Lost Time Injury last week.  The circumstances of the incident were quite unusual but very relevant to safety in the home as well as at work, and could have led to a very serious eye injury.

A rechargeable head torch, fitted to a safety helmet, was placed on charge in a tea room first thing in the morning.  During a break the team heard a buzzing noise, turned and saw flames coming from the head torch; the lead of the adjacent microwave was also on fire.  In the attempt to extinguish the fire one of the Operators picked up the safety helmet and the battery pack on the head torch exploded and a piece of hot material was projected into a colleague’s eye. The injured person received first aid and was taken to hospital where he was diagnosed with a scratched cornea and burns to his lower eyelid; it was very fortunate his injuries were not even more severe.

An investigation is underway and a Safety Alert will be issued, however, at this stage we know that the wrong charger was being used with the battery pack; the charger, which was for a TV box, was rated at 5.99v whereas the lithium ion batteries were 4.2v.  It is important to always use the correct chargers with electrical systems both at work and at home.  Any personal electrical devices/equipment brought to work should be authorised and PAT tested (Portable Appliance Testing).  Michel Andre, CEMEX UK Country President, commented: “I am very sad to report a further LTI in our operations, the second of the year, making our overall performance as poor YTD as in 2017. It is not a good start of the year, the worst of CEMEX European countries.

A full RCA of this further incident has yet to be conducted before we draw any conclusions. As an immediate action, I am asking everyone to check that electrical chargers he/she is using have been PAT tested (Portable Appliance Testing) and are connected to the proper equipment.

Furthermore, even though no fire extinguisher was used to extinguish the flames, we will revise thoroughly our policy, instructions and training procedures related to fire extinguishers as their use in some circumstances could create even riskier situations.

Please take care of yourselves and your colleagues, always applying Stop, Think & Check principles and always step-in when you observe any risk or improper behaviour.”

NB: The photo is for illustrative purposes only.