Scope: This information is just that a guide, it is not designed to be copied verbatim and presented as a full risk assessment to cover your activities using Enola Gaye pyrotechnics. This guide outlines what we believe are the hazards and risks that should be considered when using Enola Gaye pyrotechnics and some mitigating measures; however the list is not exhaustive and other Hazards and Risks may exist in your particular circumstances.
If you require additional information then the document in this link is another very good generic guide http://www.eig.org.uk/eig2007/wp-content/uploads/Guide-on-Risk-Assessment-.pdf.
What is a Risk Assessment?
A “Risk Assessment” is better described as “Assessing the Risks”, taking an overview of what you want to do, looking at both the hazards and risks involved in your activity and aims to mitigate against these as much as reasonably possible.
Risk and Hazard
Hazard – The inherent danger to persons, property, or environment posed by a particular situation e.g. Fire causing burns, destroying property and causing forest fires.
Risk – The possibility that persons, property or the environment will be affected by the hazard occurring. Risk in some way is the probability that the hazard will cause damage.
Mitigating Actions – An action or change in the circumstances reduces the hazard or risk. A single action or change can only affect either the Hazard or the Risk, one action cannot alter both the Hazard and the Risk.
Example: Lighting a wood fire. The Hazard is the fire which may set alight to the surroundings. The Risk is the probability of the fire setting alight to the surroundings. If a person is in the middle of a hay barn when lighting the fire then the risk of setting light to the surroundings is high. One mitigating action would be to light the fire outside of the barn; the Risk of setting light to the surroundings is reduced; However the Hazard remains the same i.e. the fire. Another mitigating action is to reduce the size of the fire to a match being ignited inside the hay barn. In this case the Hazard has been reduced (smaller fire, less sparks), however the Risk remains the same i.e. inside the hay barn. To reduce both the Hazard and the Risk both mitigating actions would need to happen i.e. the size of the fire would need to be reduced to the size to that of a tiny fire and the second mitigating action would be to have the tiny fire outside the barn.
Mitigating actions must be reasonable, for a small company to spend millions implementing a mitigating action may not be considered reasonable as the company may fold through lack of funds, however to spend hundreds of pounds would be reasonable. Mitigating actions must result in the aim of the project being carried out. In the example above one mitigating action may be to remove the fire altogether, however if the aim was to keep warm then this would not be achieved.
It is important to consider that mitigating actions should lower the Risk or the Hazard; Care must be taken not to introduce other risks whilst lowering one Risk or Hazard.
Risks and Hazards that may be considered when using Enola Gaye pyrotechnics.
Only persons of 18 years or over may use or be supplied Enola Gaye (EG) pyrotechnics. Systems should be in place to ensure people under 18 are not given or use EG smoke products.
The use of smoke or noise products may cause alarm or be a nuisance where you want to use them e.g. If using white smoke, you may cause alarm as people may think it’s a fire.
Consider using coloured smoke only and/or informing neighbouring residences, businesses and schools etc. as to your plans.
Public Places, Stadiums and Public Events
It is illegal to use pyrotechnics in sports stadiums without the approval of the owners or management of the property.
Using Enola Gaye products or any type of pyrotechnic in a public places where you may induce worry or panic is illegal. It is not illegal to own or use pyrotechnics but they need to be used away from the general public or face potential prosecution by public disorder.
Just like any pyrotechnic article EG pyrotechnics may cause a fire, consider the surfaces that the pyrotechnics will be used on or near, are they flammable e.g. dried grass, paper.
Mitigating actions may include relocation, use of non-flammable protective covers e.g. fire blanket, wet the immediate and surrounding areas, use non-flammable containers to contain the smoke devices.
Fire Fighting Equipment
As there is always a risk of fire, equipment should be kept on hand to tackle small fires and to prevent fires spreading. There is no way of extinguishing the smoke device once started so firefighting should focus on the area around the smoke and preventing the fire spreading.
The amount and type of equipment you need depends on the quantity of pyrotechnics, size of the area they are being used in and the quantity of flammable material surrounding.
Consider buckets or containers of water, fire extinguishers and fire beaters.
No one ever foresees an accident or an emergency but they do occur, if you make a plan and never use it great, but to not have a plan and need one could end with an injury. Would a fire affect neighbouring businesses, residences, schools etc. and how would you raise the alarm to the people within these areas?
Consider, exit routes both for the emergency services to enter and also how you, your staff and others affected may escape. How the emergency services or site security will be contacted, mobile phone, radios? How do you keep track of your own staff and ensure they are accounted for? Do you have a first aid kit?
Fire Brigade and Emergency Services
It may not be possible to contact the emergency services or site security where your event or production maybe taking place, due to lack of phone signal.
You may want to consider use of radios so you can stay in contact site security directly or with someone who may have a phone signal and they can make the call in case of emergency.
You may want to consider contacting the emergency services immediately prior to the use of pyrotechnics and give them a time you will contact them again to give the all clear. It is important to give them the “all clear” or they might respond thinking there is a problem.
Personal Protective Equipment
For all EG pyrotechnic products including smokes we recommend that as a minimum Gloves and Eye protection are worn whilst handling and using them.
A functioning device can cause burns if used incorrectly. Excessive inhalation of smoke may cause breathing difficulties. Persons with existing complaints such as asthma and chest infections and other conditions which affect breathing, maybe adversely affected by over exposure to the smoke produced by these devices.
The advice given below is for the time immediately after exposure and prior to medical advice.
Inhalation: Excessive inhalation of the smoke produced may cause respiratory irritation and difficulty breathing. Remove victim to fresh air, loosen clothing around airway, keep warm and rest. Seek medical advice/attention if symptoms persist.
Burns Burns may occur if product is not used correctly. Place burnt area under clean cold running water for at least 10 minutes. Keep the affected area clean. For serious burns seek medical attention.
Ingestion Exposure to the powdered contents is not foreseen; however, If the powdered contents within a device are swallowed, immediately seek medical attention. Ensure victim is comfortable. Do not induce vomiting and only give water if directed to do so by medical personnel.
Eye Contact: Exposure to the powdered contents is not foreseen; however, If the powdered contents within a device come into contact with eyes, remove any contact lenses and flush eyes with copious amounts of clean water or eye wash with eyelids open. Seek medical advice.
Skin Contact: Exposure to the powdered contents is not foreseen; however, If the powdered contents within a device come into contact with skin, remove any contaminated clothing and wash exposed area with soap and water.
EG pyrotechnics are Classified and authorised by the UK Explosives inspectorate (a part of HSE) as either Hazard Group 1.4S or 1.4G. It is your responsibility to ensure that the products are transported from the place of storage to the place they will be used. Unless you can park the vehicle directly next to the site where they will be used, consideration will also need to be made with transporting EG products from the car park to the point of use which maybe through areas where the public may be.
Mitigating actions; always use the packaging that the products were sent in. If bought retail and there is no packaging, ensure that the pyrotechnics are packed securely in a cardboard box. Ensure that the products are not transported with other products that may cause an ignition e.g. matches, lighters.
Ensure the vehicle is locked when unattended.
Do not send any pyrotechnic product through the postal system, it is illegal.
Storage (at venue)
At the venue, it is important that the pyrotechnics are kept safe, dry, away from sources of heat.
Consider keeping the pyrotechnics in a locked vehicle or in a locked room at the event venue. If keeping the pyrotechnics in a locked vehicle ensure that the vehicle is parked in a safe location away from hazardous products e.g. gas canisters and fuel stores.
Smoking, Naked Flames, Matches etc.
Sources of heat near EG pyrotechnics may cause an ignition of the pyrotechnics either individually or in bulk.
Consider having a system to ensure that there are no sources of ignition around the pyrotechnics, No Smoking whilst handling or using EG pyrotechnics, all cigarettes, lighters, matches and other sources of ignition are kept in a safe place isolated from the pyrotechnics.
On rare occasions once the ignited a pyrotechnic may extinguish and not fully function. If this occurs then do not approach the pyrotechnic and leave for as long as practically possible (least 10 minutes) then carefully whilst wearing eye protection and protective gloves dispose of the product according to one of the disposal methods.
There may be need to dispose of some “live” pyrotechnic products.
Disposal of live products should be by the method that best conforms to local and national regulation plus transport regulations where necessary.
- Submerge in a bucket of water allowing the water to enter the device, leave submerged for at least 48 hours then dispose of remnants in accordance with local or national regulations.
- Controlled burn – Place a maximum of 100 devices onto a pre made fire and ignite remotely from a distance of 25 metres. Ensure fire is place in a suitable location, not to ignite or damage surrounding vegetation, trees or buildings.
- Re-pack the devices into the original supplied transport packaging and return to the supplier using a courier service registered to carry class 1 dangerous goods. This method should not be used for products that have misfired.
Use of Enola Gaye Pyrotechnics
Indoors or Outdoors – Unless specifically stated on the product or the product’s safety data sheet all Enola Gaye pyrotechnics are for Outdoor Use Only.
In public Places / Event venues – EG pyrotechnics and smokes may only be used in public places, stadiums, arenas or any other venue where the public may gather if permission has been granted by the appropriate authorities, owners, health and safety managers etc.
Holding – All Enola Gaye pyrotechnics that produce a bang must not be held in the hand or on the body once ignited, they must be deployed to at least the safety distance.
Enola Gaye smoke products are designed to be ignited and deployed; however they are designed not to produce excessive heat and thus may be held using protective gloves, eye protection and non-flammable clothing must also be worn. You must also carry out your own evaluation as to the safety using the product in the manner you wish.
Breathing Smoke – Under normal conditions the smoke composition burns which sublimates the dye which condenses as it cools in the atmosphere. In addition to dye, carbon dioxide and various nitrogen oxides, water vapour and various decomposition products of the dyes are produced in the smoke. The exact nature and quantity of the smoke emissions is dependent on the atmospheric and environmental conditions at the time of release and thus ill-defined.
Some people who suffer from bronchial conditions for example asthma, may experience breathing difficulties when breathing the smoke produced from a smoke grenade just as they would do from any particulate smoke for example from a bonfire.
Although there is no information indicating the smoke is hazardous, the amount of smoke breathed in should be kept to a minimum as any particulate is not great for one’s health.
Protection of Surfaces and Staining – EG smokes will stain surfaces and materials if they come in contact with the main concentrated smoke plume or are exposed to prolonged smoke as the residues will build up over time. Surfaces in contact with the main smoke plume should be protected or the device placed inside a non-flammable container e.g. metal tin
Under no circumstances should EG pyrotechnics be tampered with, this includes re-labelling. EG products have been tested and CE marked against a strict set of standards, altering the product in any way will invalidate your warranty and guarantee.