Draft Guidance Published To Reduce Risk Of Waste Fires

01-11-131picA cross-industry group has produced draft guidance in an effort to help reduce the risk of fires at waste management sites, and is asking for feedback from the industry.

The guidance has had input from the Environment Agency (EA), The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the Health and Safety Laboratories, the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) and other bodies.

“Future guidance produced by sector specific bodies or on specific waste management technologies will sit under this guidance to add detail to the general considerations provided below”

It applies to waste sites where more than 50 cubic metres of solid combustible waste material is stored at any one time.

The ESA says that there is an urgent need to issue guidance, and its publication is “good practice based on legal requirements and the experience of regulators, insurers and the industry.”

The first part of the guidance covers general issues such as scope and fire risks.

The second part covers specific fire control guidance for sites in four areas: whole site issues, issues in reception, during treatment and for the storage of wastes.

A series of appendices included cover issues such as maximum stack sizes in external storage, producing an accident/emergency plan and checklists to help you assess whether your fire control is adequate.

The guidance is intended as an “umbrella”, according to the ESA.

“It gives general advice, which will be applicable to a wide range of waste management and similar sites which handle wastes, but it cannot cover every specific aspect of all forms of waste management type operation.

“Future guidance produced by sector specific bodies or on specific waste management technologies will sit under this guidance to add detail to the general considerations provided below.”

The intent of the guidance is to provide a framework through which operators can reduce the risk of fire on their sites.

The deadline for comments is Friday 25 July 2014.

CLICK HERE for the draft guidance.

Testing

The ESA show concern in the guidance that there is little available fire testing or science specific to wastes to provide a firm under-pinning for the available information on stack sizes and separation distances – most of the current information is based on operational and fire fighting experience.

The contributors to this guidance intend to undertake such testing.

The Chief Fire Officer Association and EA spoke to CIWM Journal where the scientific data for stack sizes and separation distances was discussed, along with new means of fighting waste fires.

Watch the interview on CIWM Journal Online Video

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