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Control measure

Use hard and soft protection

Control measure knowledge

Where flying debris and shards present a hazard to emergency responders working inside the inner cordon, a hierarchy of control measures should be considered. Where possible, responders should try to use or create 'hard' protection barriers. These may be in situ, for example, taking a specific access route to an unstable structure using elements that are structurally sound and avoiding higher risk routes. It may be possible to use equipment and shoring techniques to create hard protection, or to build temporary physical barriers that allow personnel to be isolated from the risk.

Alongside these hard protection methods, using cordons and appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) will help to provide 'soft' levels of protection.

Both hard and soft methods of protection are forms of control measures in response to hazards and risks. As such, the choice of protection method must be the result of a risk assessment and should aim to provide the highest level of protection for those who may be exposed. It is also important to recognise that in these environments and at specific types of incident, the potential for dynamic change is high and the reassessment of control measures must be regular and frequent.

Tactical actions

Incident commanders should:
  • Consider using hard and soft protection to protect crews from flying debris and shards