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Scrapyard fires are no accident!

We hear the term "accidental" used all too often to describe unintentional situations that stem from poor housekeeping, depollution practice, and a lack of proper hazard control. What health and safety professionals think when they hear the term accidental being used during an investigation, is an occurrence that could have likely been avoided. Simply claiming that vehicle depollution and dismantling is inherently hazardous and therefore we need to somehow accept that scrap yard fires are impossible to eliminate, is not acceptable nor sustainable. Business owners are fully in control of their fire prevention planning and only have one simple decision to make - do they train people to prevent fires or how to tackle the next one - which approach will you adopt?


It has not escaped the public's attention that the waste and recycling industry, including the scrap metal sector, is suffering an increasing number of fires. Scrapyard fires are nearly a weekly occurrence, with blazes presenting a significant health, safety and environmental issue. These fires pose a real risk to employees, contractors, visitors, the emergency services who respond, and to the wider public. We fear it is only a matter of time before the United Kingdom suffers a fatality in the vehicle dismantling industry.


Education is key to making our ELV processes safer, building from the ground up, making our employees more aware of the dangers associated with their roles, taking the time to explain the dangers of taking shortcuts, whilst demonstrating the benefits of evolving current ELV activities with safe and sustainable solutions to increase operational efficiency.


Introducing strict inspection practices for ELVs as they arrive on site is fundamental to eliminating fires. Lithium-ion batteries in discarded electronic devices such as laptops, tablets and mobile phones, and removing road wheels and separating tyre carcases ensures pressure monitors can be retrieved, are common source of fires. Identifying LPG vehicles and removing the tank at the very start of the depollution process is another way to mitigate the risk of fire from tanks accidentally entering the shredder or bailer.

ELV Training offer a wide range of courses specifically targeted at the hazards and the risks present in the vehicle recycling industry. We also provide Explosive Atmospheres, DSEAR, Fire Awareness and Evacuation Training. If you wish to talk to us further about fire prevention or a related matter, please get in touch...



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