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Developed and maintained
by the NFCC

Control measure

Safe system of work: Magnetic equipment

Control measure knowledge

Information should be gathered about the strength of magnet and the size of the lifting zone; this may be available in Site-Specific Risk Information (SSRI), but personnel should liaise with the responsible person or operator to confirm the accuracy of information.

Personnel should not enter 'lifting zones' while magnetic equipment is in use. The extent of the 'lifting zone' will depend on the size and type of load, its height and speed. There should be warning notices at entrances to places where magnetic lifting is taking place.

Until it has been confirmed by the responsible person of the operator that it is safe to do so, no equipment that may be attracted by the magnet should be taken within the ‘lifting zone’.

Magnetic equipment may have an operator or be part of an automated process. In order to isolate the equipment, it may be necessary to isolate the electrical supply, which may have back-up batteries. However, if the electrical supply is isolated or interrupted, the material being lifted may fall from the magnetic equipment. Therefore isolation should only be carried out once there is nobody in the 'lifting zone'.

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Ensure that information about magnetic equipment is included in Site-Specific Risk Information (SSRI)
  • Inform their personnel about the hazard of exposure to strong magnetic fields if they have metal implants

Tactical actions

Incident commanders should:
  • Liaise with the responsible person for information about the magnetic equipment and isolation procedures
  • Consider isolating magnetic equipment providing there is nobody in the lifting zone

  • Ensure personnel are made aware of the strong magnetic field

  • Consider avoiding the area affected by the magnetic equipment
  • Ensure that fire and rescue service equipment that could be attracted to the magnetic equipment is not taken into the hazard area
  • Ensure personnel entering the hazard area do not have any metal implants or fragments that may be affected by the strong magnetic field