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HSE Issues Reminder to FRP Industry to Risks of Fire

21 July 2004

The UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has issued a reminder to all fibre reinforced plastics (FRP) firms be alert to the risks of fire, explosion and styrene exposure.

Information sheets published by HSE outline the actions industry should take to reduce the risk of incidents, and how to assess and control workers’ exposure to styrene.

Every year, fires and explosions in the industry result in injury to workers, lost production, and sometimes complete closure of businesses. The majority of incidents are caused by poor control of flammable materials used or produced in the fabrication of FRP.

Poor control of styrene can put workers health at risk. HSE is aware that many companies do not monitor exposure to styrene, and suspect that many do not report styrene related ill-health cases.

Plastics Processing sheet No. 14 “Assessing and controlling styrene levels during contact moulding of fibre-reinforced plastic (FRP) products” summarises the health hazards that can arise from exposure to styrene and gives practical guidance to FRP manufacturers on assessing and controlling styrene levels in the workplace.

Plastics Processing sheet No. 15 “Reducing the risk of fire or explosion during the manufacture of fibre-reinforced plastic (FRP) products” summarises what can be done to control fire and explosion hazards in fibre laminating and aims to help businesses carry out risk assessments and decide what control measures are needed.

These free guidance sheets have been produced in consultation with industry stakeholders and will help FRP businesses identify hazards and provide sensible control measures to keep people safe at work.