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Control measure
Use competent people to operate specialist plant and machinery

Control measure knowledge

Sites may have a variety of mobile or static machinery that could prove beneficial in firefighting operations. This equipment would need to be identified and competent people would need to operate it.

This can in turn create additional hazards, as other people may not be used to working with fire and rescue service personnel. Therefore close monitoring of their performance, and detailed briefing as to what is required, will be required from the sector commanders and incident commander.

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Ensure that all fire and rescue service personnel are aware that site equipment should be operated by competent person only

Tactical actions

Incident commanders should:
  • Identify suitable equipment on-site that will achieve the objectives required
  • Assess the hazards of using equipment in firefighting operations before doing so, and ensure the appropriate control measures are put in place to eliminate or mitigate those hazards
  • Consider obtaining plant from another site or hiring suitable equipment if necessary, and agree in writing who will be accountable for the cost of hire and any damage to the equipment
  • Ensure appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and high visibility clothing is worn in the area where plant or machinery is being operated
  • Provide a full safety brief to fire and rescue service personnel and others
  • Develop agreed communication methods between fire and rescue service personnel and others, including evacuation signals; these should be implemented before entering cordons and commencing operations
  • Constantly monitor all on-site equipment used to assist in firefighting, as this equipment may not withstand the temperatures involved; however, some sites use the mechanical shovels that are also used in foundries, as they can withstand higher temperatures than normal shovels
  • Ensure that if plant, machinery or vehicles are not being used and have been powered down, a robust system is implemented to ensure this equipment is not brought back into operation until agreed with the incident commander
  • Arrange for a competent person to remove any mobile equipment or vehicles not being used for firefighting operations to an agreed location, where they will not impact on firefighting operations or become involved in the incident