Line of fire avoidance

Line of fire avoidance

Three construction workers looking at blueprints on site

A serious injury can be sustained should a workers find themselves unintentionally body parts in the path of a moving object or an object under tension. There are several common causes to injuries sustained in this way including:

  • Rushing to get a job done
  • Safety equipment such as guarding or grab handles have been removed from hand held tools
  • Workers not considering the potential hazards associated with a task

There is sometimes a perception that a job just must get done. In this situation the job my get rushed or corners cut, sometimes ignoring an obvious risk that would not be there if the worker simply took their time and allowed themselves to remain focussed. Not remaining focussed or rushing can also lead to dangerous assumptions about the safety of a situation for example, assuming a pipe is not under pressure, or an electrical circuit is not live could lead to very serious injury or even death. 

Avoiding Line of Fire Injuries

Looking for hazards before you start a task

A line of fire could be the path a moving object will travel meaning if you are in this path you are at risk of sustaining an injury. Avoid this risk by asking simple questions before you start a task such as:

  • What objects are moving or could potentially move as they are currently under tension or pressure?
  • If they were to move am I likely to be in the line of movement?
  • What sudden movement or action could happen around me that could instigate an object being released or put me in the line of fire?

Eliminating or reducing a risk

Once you become aware of a line of fire hazard you can then take steps to potentially eliminate or reduce the risk of harm. The best-case scenario is to eliminate any risk completely by removing it, for example by removing a source of tensile or pneumatic pressure from an object. If that object is no longer under pressure, it cannot move with the amount of force required to cause an injury to you or others. 

Use best practices to minimize risks

If an object under pressure cannot be completely eliminated the object would likely require a guard to provide a physical barrier should an object under pressure be released being careful to ensure that the barrier can sustain any force released without failing. 

How to report a Health & Safety issue or concern  

Do not think because you may be new on site that you should not report a hazard.
To report any health & safety concern or hazard please contact the Hays Health and Safety team by calling:

Freecall Australia1800 786 057
Freecall New Zealand0800 562 669 (select option 4)

Alternatively, if you prefer you can also report this by speaking to your Hays consultant. Hays will always work to ensure that your safety comes first and so and will take the necessary steps required to safeguard this. All calls are confidential, your identity will not be divulged without your specific prior consent.

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