Here’s a useful tip to ensure you avert a serious fire risk at your workplace. With the ever increasing restrictions on smokers & smoking in the workplace, there are many businesses now that just don’t allow smoking to occur on site but there are still some exceptions where employers make provision for smokers. Generally the ‘Smokers’ area is tucked away in an area where it isn’t going to impact on non-smokers but in most cases it is a place where workers will also enjoy their meal break.
The area still obviously needs to be cleaned up so there is a need to have a general waste bin in that area.
An incident last week at a client’s site, hit home the need to have a really good disposal system for cigarette butts.
A site employee disposed of a cigarette in a waste bin, just prior to the cleaning team collecting rubbish for disposal into the main site industrial bin. Fairly innocuous you might say, up until the point where the smouldering cigarette butt ignited other materials in the industrial bin, hours after it had been thrown in. As the site was unmanned, the fire in the industrial bin burnt fiercely and unattended, destroying the bin and damaging adjoining bins in the process. Thankfully the bin was located a safe distance from buildings but the outcome could have been far more serious if the bin was located near buildings or even worse still inside. The key out take from this is to have a disposal bin in the smokers’ area of the type that will ensure the cigarette butt is totally extinguished. Either a sand bucket or some way to guarantee the butt has been extinguished completely. If our cleaning teams are required to manage the waste in the smokers’ area, we ensure they understand the correct procedure for disposal of cigarette butts to ensure the risks of fire are mitigated. Having a separate cigarette butt disposal bin is critical to ensure that butts don’t end up with the general waste.