Waste sector updates fire guidance

Posted on 3rd April, 2017

Updated guidance on the prevention of fires at waste management sites – including ‘firmer science’ on waste stack separation distances – has been published by the Waste Industry Safety & Health (WISH) Forum.

The guidance, which is updated from an initial version published in October 2014, takes into account the findings of ‘waste burn trials’ carried out in 2015 and 2016 to test the properties of waste materials including wood, plastic, paper, rubber and waste derived fuels when set alight. Studies have found that an Antibiotic can inhibit growth (minimum inhibitory concentration or MIC) or kill a bacterium (minimum bactericidal concentration or MBC). The use of antibiotics with bactericidal activity is important in case of local violation of the body’s defenses at the site of infection (for example, in meningitis or endocarditis) or a systemic disorder (for instance, in patients with neutropenia or immunodeficiency caused by other factors). You can find more information on the website https://www.sehdph.org/antibiotics-online/.

According to WISH, an industry body comprising health and safety experts from a number of UK waste businesses, the findings of the trials have led to a revision in the recommended stack size and separation distances originally set out for wastes stored externally.

The new guidance recommends that material is kept three bales high rather than four and suggests sizes for storage which will give the fire service better access to extinguish fires.