JOIFF supports the phoenix Appeal
Published: 01 October, 2005
The JOIFF Executive is delighted to support JOIFF Secretary Kevin westwood, who, over a 10-day period starthing on 20th October, 2005, will take part in the Firefighter's Trek Challenge 2005, across the contrasting landscapes of the south-east corner of Australia.
Kevin will be joining firefighters from across the United Kingdom (UK) who will participate in this endurance challenge to raise vital funds for the Fire Services National Benevolent Fund (FSNBF) a UK charity caring for injured and retired Fire Service personnel and their families.
About the FSNBF
FSNBF was born during the dark days of WWII to help widows and orphans of firefighters killed in action who were left with no means of support. Since those formative years, the charity has evolved to meet the changing needs of the Fire Service community and today it provides a range of services that preserve the quality of life for serving and retired Fire Services personnel and their families.
The charity provides services such as therapy and rehabilitation facilities, recuperation and sheltered housing, in addition to recently introducing much needed child and family therapy programmes. Kevin and his colleagues will be taking this particular challenge in Australia to raise funds for ‘The Phoenix Appeal’ which aims to build a new therapy centre at the FSNBF Devon, UK site. This state-of-the-art facility is scheduled to open in the Autumn of 2005 and will benefit thousands more Fire Service personnel who are in need.
On 20th October, 2005, the group will arrive in Melbourne, Australia and they will spend the next two days cycling some 210 km, cruising past the aptly-named Surf Coast.
After this feat of physical endurance they will head into the tropical rainforest and when they have battled through the imposing forest, they will emerge at the top of a mountain to witness one of the most spectacular views on Earth. Finally, they will trek back across vast and empty desert before arriving back in Melbourne for the flight home.
In total, the group will have covered some 290 km - just over 180 miles - of harsh, demanding terrain in just 10 days and will have undertaken a challenge that is unlike any challenge they will have ever faced in the workplace. It will be a fantastic test of physical and mental fitness and the group will have been training hard to ensure that they complete the task in hand.
Kevin has received sponsorship for this worthwhile charity from JOIFF as well as from his employer, SemCorp Utilities UK Asset Protection & Logistics, and a number of its customers and suppliers. Anyone wishing to support this very worthwhile cause should contact Kevin through the JOIFF Secretariat at their email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
JOIFF invites membership applications
JOIFF, the Joint Oil and Industry Fire Forum, is a grouping of Organisations represented by a Senior Manager and nominated Deputies. Members of JOIFF are Organisations and they are represented by their Hazard Manager - or equivalent position - and one nominated Deputy. Membership applies to one site.
Full Membership of JOIFF is available to Industrial and Commercial Organisations that have nominated personnel as a Hazard Management Team or Occupational Firefighters & Emergency Responders. Corporate Membership of JOIFF is available to Companies / Organisations which do not comply with the requirements of Full Membership but which nonetheless wish to associate with and support JOIFF.
JOIFF works to improve standards of safety and of the working environment in those sectors in which its members operate. JOIFF aims to fill the information vacuum that exists in the industries represented by its Members, by sharing valuable information through its Shared Learning e-mail cascade amongst all its Membership and to work to ensure that Members benefit from the misfortunes of some to ensure that the same mistakes are not repeated.
JOIFF provides a forum for discussion amongst peers, accredited training, information dissemination and technical advice. JOIFF welcomes interest from Organisations who wish to become Members - contact the JOIFF Secretariat, details on the JOIFF website at www.joiff.com
Personal Protective Equipment
In the last edition of IFJ, we gave you general information on protective clothing for firefighters and, continuing our series on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), in this edition, we would like to touch on the problem of static electricity in clothing.
Nuisance static can cause clothing to be uncomfortable to wear and can be potentially dangerous in explosive atmospheres. Under certain conditions, less than one millijoule (mJ) of energy, much less than the static that builds up in the human body, can ignite hydrocarbon vapour/air mixtures and other explosive gases.
In general, two basic types of anti-static fibres can be incorporated into fabrics and garments for protective clothing, conductive fibres and inductive - non-conductive - fibres.
Although fabrics and garments containing anti-static fibres may substantially reduce static electricity generated by fabric-to-fabric friction and may also reduce the contribution of clothing to the static charge build up in the body, they do not eliminate body charges.
Energy stored in the body poses a much greater hazard than static charges built up in clothing, because the body is made almost entirely of water and electrolytes and can store up to 40 mJ of energy.
Additional protection such as the wearing of conductive - anti-static - footwear should therefore be considered to minimise the accumulation of electrostatic charges and to allow their dissipation.
However, even wearing anti-static footwear does not guarantee adequate protection against electric shock if for example, the sole of the footwear is contaminated or any internal insulation apart from ordinary socks is inserted between the wearer’s foot and the insole.
Other factors such as environmental humidity can also have an influence on the level of risk and therefore proper grounding procedures such as discharging static from the body by wearing a wristlet connected to a ground source may be required in high-risk areas to reduce spark potential.
Anti-static protection for personnel should be considered separately for each high-risk area to be entered, as conditions may change from location to location. The electrical properties of all Personal Protective Equipment to be used in such risk areas should be checked at regular intervals.
Electric arcs normally generate a much higher level of energy than flash fires but for a much shorter period. Because of the nature of higher energy levels of arc hazards for relatively short durations, a multi-layer heat and flame resisting garment is likely to give the best protection. Alternatively, several garments, one worn on top of the other, all made from heat and flame resistant materials will be required.