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Do You Have The Right Forklift Tyres ?

Forklifts, Safety February 4, 2017

forklift tyres

Forklifts have so many different specifications, when it comes to capacities, lift heights and attachments.  Well its no different when it comes to forklift tyres, you have a few different options such as cushion Tyres, pneumatic tyres, solid tyres or polyurethane.

Well there there is also the option of solid filling your pneumatic tyres.  It basically includes ‘In-fill’ materials (for Pneumatic Tyres) and ‘In-fill’ materials include sprays, rubber foams and urethane fills.

Along the way in developing these fill products, there have been many problems associated with these types of fillings,  they have tended to leave voids in the material. The latest urethane/rubber fillings, which are not a foam, are put into the tyre as a liquid, then pressurized and cured.

Over the last 10 to 15 years a number of proprietary items have been marketed to prevent punctures in pneumatic tyres, but very few have been successful until recently.

Advantages of ‘In-fill’ materials

The advantage of ‘in-fill’ materials is that the tyre —

(a) can operate at higher speed ratings than the resilient type of tyre;

(b) gives similar ride characteristics to the pneumatic tyre; and

(c) completely avoids ‘down-time’ on expensive machines which operate on difficult sites and away from a service point. Obviously you don’t get punctures with a Solid Filled Pneumatic forklift tyre, so it will save you from down-time with less tyre punctures.

Disadvantages of ‘In-fill’ materials

The one biggest disadvantage of ‘in-fill’ materials is that once the tyre is pressurized it cannot be altered to obtain more or less flotation.

With the above in mind, before you are looking to solid fill your pneumatic forklift tyres, you should always talk to your Industrial tyre supplier before you go down the solid filling route to ensure it’s the right thing for your operating environment.

You also need to way up the cost of solid filling vs. buying a solid puncture proof tyre, as its usually charged by the Kilo and can get quote expensive.

Once you wear out the tyres that has been solid filled, it can also be a problem and getting the remaining tyre off the rim so a new tyre can be fitted.  You can potentially damage the rim.

So there you are, if you are looking at solid filling your pneumatic forklift tyres, we are not saying don’t do it, we are just saying be aware of what you are doing it for.

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How to Store a Forklift for a Long Time

Safety December 7, 2016

How to store a forklift

We’ve already taken a took at how to store a forklift for a short period of time, But sometimes you might need to store your forklift for longer than 6 months.  So we wanted to help give some instruction for Long Term Storage of your forklift.

6 Months – Long–Term Storage

If you are looking to store your forklift, make sure you do the following steps to prepare the forklift for storage for 6 months or longer:

  1. Make sure you complete all the short–term storage procedures.
  1. Wrap or cover all exterior lights, radiator grille, and air vents with a moisture barrier cover. Use tape to hold the covers in position.
  1. Make sure you remove the batteries from the forklift. Just make sure you store the batteries in an approved space. Be sure to follow whatever your local regulations are. Batteries that are stored for long periods can become damaged so we recommend that you try to use the batteries elsewhere if you can .
  1. Also spray exterior surfaces and the frame with a preservative coating.

Following the above steps will help you preserve your forklift and help keep its value.

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What Exactly is a Forklift PM Service

Safety December 5, 2016

Forklift PM Service

When it comes to owning a forklift, a lot of owner’s forget to think about how to keep their forklift maintained.  So we want to take a look at exactly is a forklift PM SERVICE.

A PM service, or a Preventative Maintenance service, is the  maintenance schedule that the Original Equipment Manufacturer recommends for the forklift that they manufacture.  Quite simply if you think in the terms of your car, you need to get it serviced as per the manufactures recommendation every 15 000 Klms (Or what ever it is), it is the same with your forklift.

One of the major differences is the way it is calculated, generally a forklift is fitted with a Hour Meter instead of a Speedo.  Depending on the type of forklift and the recommendations, you can generally expect to be servicing a 2500 KG forklift every 250 hours or every 3 months.

Generally included in a 250 hour service is :

  • Changing of engine oil
  • Changing of Engine oil filter
  • Checking – Drive belt
  • Checking LPG system (If fitted)
  • Checking Engine Idle Speed

How often should you service your Forklift

The quickest way to work out how often your forklift needs servicing. Is to take a note of the hour meter at the start of the week then again at the end of the week.  After determining how much you use your forklift, you can then talk to a service agent about a Preventative Maintenance Service schedule.

Generally most forklift dealers will offer an annual fixed price service schedule for your forklift.  Generally most forklift dealers will suggest how often you should have a basic service performed (oil and filter change, battery check, fluids topped off as well as a host of other items).

Generally we suggest talking to a forklift dealer that can set up your service automatically and come out to service your forklift on an agreed regular basis.

Why do Preventative Maintenance Servicing

By servicing your forklift before you have trouble, you can catch many things (a worn belt, for example) that can be taken care of before it becomes a problem and your forklift stops running.

Just remember a Forklift PM service is less expensive than a service call and it will generally only take between one hour to two hours.

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Operation and Maintenance of Your Forklift

Safety November 25, 2016

To operate a forklift in Australia, you need to have a Forklift licence, many people just forget the second they have their forklift licence, what their supposed to check before they start operation of a forklift.  Keep in mind that it is the businesses responsibility to make sure the the right procedures are followed.

Before you start the forklift, its important to ensure that it is in safe working order, ready to be used and capable of completing the task required of it. A business smart practice is to develop and implement a system of work that nominates the person who will ensure the safety checking occurs, e.g. a manager or supervisor.

Make sure your operators know to report any damage to your employer, supervisor, manager  or employee safety representative immediately.

If any damage or problems are noticed that are needing immediate repairs isolate the forklift so it cannot be used.

Make sure you get your operators to complete a checklist as part of your pre-operational  routine (example below).  This is an important part of any effective maintenance program, if you are using a new or different forklift.  This checklist will help you become familiar with the machine.

Pre-operation Forklift Checklist

Forklift operators should do the following before starting :

  • Tyres : Check all for wear or damage, and pressure  (if applicable)
  • Fluids: Check all for wear or damage, fuel and coolant
  • Seating:  Check the condition and adjustment
  • Warning devices: Check lights, horns, reversing beeper, and flashing light
  • Capacity: Check for signs of wear to the lift chains and guides
  • Hydraulic cylinders and hoses:  Check  for any leaks
  • Tynes: Check for excessive wear, damage, cracks or repairs
  • Seatbelt: Make sure it is in good working order (if fitted)
  • Guarding: Check that all guards are in place

Once started

  • Controls: Check that all pedals and controls operate correctly
  • Brake: Check that all (including parking brake) operate correctly

This list is far from exhaustive, and can be added to at any time, and developed for specific pieces of equipment or the particular environment that you are operating your forklift in. If you are stuck for ideas you can always contact your local dealer.

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Forklifts and Indentifying Hazards

Safety November 19, 2016

In warehouses, factories, shipping yards, freight terminals and other workplaces across Australia, forklifts are used to lift, stack and transfer loads.

While forklifts offer a practical materials handling solution for many businesses, each year they continue to be associated with workplace deaths and injuries. The human and financial cost of forklift-related incidents for employees, industry and the community is substantial, and in the most part completely avoidable, especially when employees and employers work together to improve health and safety at work.

A lot of new Forklift operators struggle when they first get their Forklift licence, to identify the risk and hazards around the area that they will be operating the forklift  in.

FORKLIFT DANGERS

Forklifts are manoeuvrable and they are designed to be compact, but when carrying loads they can become unstable under certain circumstances. Fully laden, a standard two tonne forklift can weigh approximately five tonnes in total. With lower stability, and greater manoeuvrability combined with uncontrolled traffic areas in workplaces you’ll understand why forklifts are involved in so many incidents.

Even at low speeds, forklifts can cause serious injuries and fatalities.

It’s not just the employee using the forklift who can be injured; pedestrians can be crushed against a wall or an object or another vehicle.

Don’t wait until there’s an injury or death at your workplace before developing a safe system of work to control risks.  So here are some basic Hazards and some simple rectifications that you can use to negate the Hazard in your workplace, ensuring that your operators have a safe day operating forklifts in your business.

Hazard

Danger to persons not aware of the forklift operating in area.

Rectification

Overhead flashing light operates when ignition key is switched on.

Hazard

Damage to person at rear of forklift when forklift is reversing.

Rectification

Warning beeper and reverse light is activated when in reverse gear.

Hazard

Lift/lower and tilt levers could be mistaken or confused

Rectification

Decals or lever handles clearly shown operation.

Hazard

forklift tips forward when lifting over rated capacity.

Rectification

Load capacity plate fitted to forklift and should never be exceeded

Hazard

Operator slipping while getting on and off forklifts.

Rectification

Step has been fitted to allow safe mount and dismount from forklift.

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How You Really Need To Use a Forklift to Make a Profit.

Rental November 10, 2016

The majority of forklifts are owned and operated by Businesses, they are a work tool.  Even most farmers will have a old forklift out in the shed that will help them lift things when needed.

But it’s the use of the forklift, not the ownership that provides profit and the best return on your overall investment.   Sometimes rental  programs will provide the benefit your business needs, but avoids the time consuming responsibilities of ownership and maintenance support.

Most forklift dealers will talk to you about the many cost effective benefits that a fleet management program can provide for your business.

We wanted to take a look some things to consider when you are looking at rental of a forklift.

Capital gains

Your forklift dealer can purchase your existing fleet of forklifts and provide replacement units where required and rent back the remainder, as well as progressively upgrading your rental in the future.

Free’s Up capital

Capital investment can be directed into profitable “core” business activities, rather than having it tied up in capital intensive non-profit making support systems.

Single monthly charge

Its fully tax deductible – It normally includes all regular services, breakdowns, travelling time, labour and parts provided by a team of experienced mechanics and gas fitters.

Improved reliability and Efficiency

This is achieved with a new modern fleet eliminating operating and downtime costs associated with aged equipment.

No “hidden costs” associated with ownership

Elimination of administration and management times and costs involved in organizing service and repairs, sourcing and holding parts, processing paperwork, lengthy machine downtime, obsolescence and ultimate disposal of old or inefficient equipment.

Flexibility and future needs

Fully maintained rental forklifts assure the user will achieve peak efficiency of materials handling tasks at all times.  Additional casual units can be provided to satisfy peak seasonal  needs.  Rental offers the user the “best years” of machine life.  Owning equipment means capital is locked into forklift trucks which may become obsolete, inappropriate to changing needs and may require replacement before they can be fully depreciated.

Support from your Dealer

Look to partner with a solid provider, don’t be afraid to ask them for references.

And here’s the some benefits to looking at renting your forklift fleet :

  • It  helps expand you business and conserve your Cash Resources.
  • Frees management to get on with the business that they know and manage best
  • Being and operating expense, RENTAL payments are fully tax deductible
  • Off Balance sheet accounting
  • Save your capital for high return opportunities
  • It is the use of equipment not Ownership that produces the best return on investment
  • Rental ensures you are not locked into obsolete purchased equipment
  • Rental allows you to benefit from new technology
  • Rental provides flexibility to cater for unforeseen future requirements
  • Rental is inclusive of all equipment maintenance, rental plan management and administration
  • Payment is made as value and service are provided
  • Minimize RISK Through RENTAL
  • Consistent and reliable national services support

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A Forklift Goes By Many Different Names

Forklifts November 6, 2016

A forklift goes by many names, people tend to refer to it as many different things such as a forklift truck, lift truck, fork truck, forklift.  But it’s basically a powered industrial truck which is used to lift and transport materials in businesses, most commonly goods that are stacked on pallets.

Forklifts can actually be traced back to the late 1800’s, but the modern forklift was developed in the 1960s by various companies including the transmission manufacturing company Clark and the hoist company Yale & Towne Manufacturing. The forklift has since become an indispensable piece of equipment in manufacturing and warehousing operations/

Here’s a list of the more common Forklift types :

 

  • Manual pallet truck – It has no power system of any kind
  • Walkie low lift truck – Basically what is referred to as a powered pallet truck, usually electrically Powered.
  • Rider low lift truck – usually Electrically Powered
  • Towing tractor – Generally an Internal Combustion Engine or Electric Powered
  • Walkie stacker – usually electrically powered
  • Rider stacker – usually electrically powered
  • Reach truck – This one is a variant on a Rider Stacker forklift, designed for small aisles, usually Electrically Powered, named because the forks can extend to reach the load. There are two variants, moving carriage, which are common in North America, and moving mast which are common in the rest of the world, and generally regarded as safer.
  • Electric Counterbalanced truck – comes in a couple of different versions, Stand on End Control, Stand on Center Control, and Sit Down Center Control, which is by far the most  common
  • Internal Combustion Engine Powered Counterbalanced Forklift – comes in Stand on End Control, Stand on Center Control, and Sit Down Center Control, which is the the bread and butter of the industry.  Engines come in, kerosene, gasoline, natural gas, butane, or propane fuelled, and may be either Two Stroke Spark Ignition, Four Stroke Spark Ignition (common), Two Stroke Compression Ignition, and Four Stroke Compression Ignition (common). North American Engines generally come with advanced emission control systems. Forklifts built in countries like Iran or Russia will typically have no emission control systems.
  • Electric Forklifts – Are powered by lead-acid batteries, several types of forklifts are electric: cushion tire forklifts, scissor lifts, order pickers, stackers, reach trucks and pallet jacks. Electric forklifts are primarily used indoors on flat, even surfaces. Electric forklift batteries in Australia generally rated to last 5 consecutive hours or throughout an 8-hour shift with 2-3 breaks. Batteries prevent the emission of harmful fumes and are recommended for facilities in food-processing and healthcare sectors.
  • Sideloader  – comes in Stand on End Control, and Sit Down End Control, which is the most common. It may be Electrically Powered, or have an Internal Combustion Engine. Engines may be diesel, kerosene, gasoline, natural gas, butane, or propane fueled, and may be either Two Stroke Spark Ignition, Four Stroke Spark Ignition (common), Two Stroke Compression Ignition, and Four Stroke Compression Ignition (common). North American Engines come with advanced emission control systems. Forklifts built in countries like Iran or Russia will typically have no emission control systems. Some Sideloaders have Hybrid drivetrains.
  • Telescopic handler – comes in Stand on Center Control, and Sit Down Center Control, which is the most numerous. Usually has an Internal Combustion Engine. Engines are almost always diesel, but sometimes operate on kerosene, and sometimes use propane injection as a power boost. Some old units are Two Stroke Compression Ignition, most are Four Stroke Compression Ignition (common). North American Engines come with advanced emission control systems. Forklifts built in countries like Iran or Russia will typically have no emission control systems. Some Telescopic handlers have Hybrid drivetrains.
  • Walkie Order Picking truck – usually Electrically Powered
  • Rider Order Picking truck – commonly called an “Order Picker”; like a small Reach Truck, except the operator rides in a cage welded to the fork carriage, while wearing a specially designed safety harness to prevent falls. A special toothed grab holds the pallet to the forks. The operator hand transfers the load onto the pallet one article at a time. This is an efficient way of picking less than pallet load shipments, and is popular for use in large distribution centers.
  • Articulated Very Narrow Aisle Counterbalanced trucks – sometimes called “Flexi or Bendi Trucks” after two of the largest manufacturers. Comes in Stand on Center Control, and Sit Down Center Control, which is the most numerous. May have an Internal Combustion Engine or an Electric Motor. Electric Motors are most common. Engines may be diesel, kerosene, gasoline, natural gas, butane, or propane fueled, and may be either Two Stroke Spark Ignition, Four Stroke Spark Ignition (common), Two Stroke Compression Ignition, and Four Stroke Compression Ignition (common). North American Engines come with advanced emission control systems. Forklifts built in countries like Iran or Russia will typically have no emission control systems. Some units have Hybrid drive trains.
  • Guided Very Narrow Aisle truck – A counterbalance type Sit Down Rider Electric Forklift fitted with a specialized mast assembly. The Mast is capable of rotating 90 degrees, and the forks can then advance like on a reach mechanism, to pick full pallets. Because the forklift doesn’t not have to turn, the aisles can be exceptionally narrow, and if wire guidance is fitted in the floor of the building the machine can almost work on its own. Masts on this type of machine tend to be very high. The higher the racking that can be installed, the higher the density the storage can reach. This sort of storage system is popular in cities where land prices are really high, as by building the racking up to three times higher than normal and using these machines, it is possible to stock an incredible amount of material in what appears to be a small space.
  • Guided Very Narrow Aisle Order Picking truck – A counterbalance type Order Picking Truck similar to the Guided Very Narrow Aisle truck, except that the operator and the controls which operate the machine are in a cage welded to the mast. The operator of course wears a restraint system to protect him against falls. Otherwise the description is the same as Guided Very Narrow Aisle truck.
  • Truck Mounted Forklift / Sod Loader – comes in Sit Down Center Control. Usually has an Internal Combustion Engine. Engines are almost always diesel, but sometimes operate on kerosene, and sometimes use propane injection as a power boost. Some old units are Two Stroke Compression Ignition, most are Four Stroke Compression Ignition (common). North American Engines come with advanced emission control systems. Forklifts built in countries like Iran or Russia will typically have no emission control systems.

Specialty trucks

At the other end of the spectrum from the counterbalanced forklift trucks are more ‘high end’ specialty trucks:

  • Articulated Counterbalance Trucks

These are, unlike most lift trucks, front wheel steer, and are a hybrid VNA (Very Narrow Aisle) truck designed to be both able to offload trailers and place the load in narrow aisle racking. Increasingly these trucks are able to compete in terms of pallet storage density, lift heights and pallet throughput with Guided Very Narrow Aisle trucks, while also being capable of loading trucks, which VNA units are incapable of doing.[6]

  • Guided Very Narrow Aisle Trucks

These are rail or wire guided and available with lift heights up to 40′ non top-tied and 98′ top-tied. Two forms are available; ‘man-down’ and ‘man-riser’ where the operator elevates with the load for increased visibility or for multilevel ‘break bulk’ order picking. This type of truck, unlike Articulated Narrow Aisle Trucks, requires a high standard of floor flatness.

  • Omni-directional Trucks

Omni-directional technology (such as mecanum wheels) can allow a forklift truck to move forward, diagonally and laterally, or in any direction on a surface. Omni-directional wheel system is able to rotate the truck 360 degrees in its own footprint or strafe sideways without turning the truck cabin. One example is the Airtrax Sidewinder. This forklift truck has also made an appearance in the TV -series called ‘Mythbusters’

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8 TIPS TO PROPERLY STORE A FORKLIFT

Forklifts November 5, 2016

Forklift Storage

Sometimes you need to put your forklift in storage for a short time, it’s common to see plenty of forklifts stuck and the corner and forgotten about.  It’s the absolute worst thing you can do to a piece of machinery especially a forklift.  So here we give you 8 of the best tips to properly store a Forklift.

Generally the following storage procedures are for conditions and temperatures above 0° C (32_F).  Just adjust these procedures to suit any for local conditions and any changes in conditions during the storage.

The preparations necessary for storage are also determined from the following conditions:

  • Short–term storage is from 1 to 6 months. Long–term storage is over 6 months.
  • Storage Location. A lift truck stored indoors will not require as much external protection as a lift truck stored outdoors.

 

Short -Term Storage

 

Do the following steps to prepare the lift truck for storage from 1 to 6 months:

  1. Check lubricant and fluid levels. Completely fill the fuel tank. Verify the coolant mixture will protect cooling system and engine to lowest temperature expected during storage. Verify all caps and dipsticks are installed correctly.
  1. Fully lower the forks or carriage. Tilt mast forward until the tips of the forks touch the ground. Apply a thin coat of engine oil to the cylinder rods.
  1. Check that all switches and accessories are in the OFF position.
  1. If the lift truck must be left on an incline, put blocks on the down hill side of the wheels so that the lift truck can not move. Apply the hand brake.
  1. Disconnect the battery cables from the batteries. Apply a protective coat to the cable connectors and battery terminals to prevent corrosion.
  1. Check the tire pressure. Verify the tires have the correct pressure. See the Nameplate.
  1. Clean the lift truck and engine compartment to prevent corrosion.
  1. If the lift truck is not stored in a shelter, put a cover over the lift truck to prevent damage from the weather. In wet conditions, a cover will not prevent corrosion to a lift truck that is in long–term storage outside of a dry storage area.

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Forklift Rental Vs Ownership

Forklifts October 28, 2016

When it comes to having one forklift or a fleet of forklifts, there is often one question you need to ask yourself, should I rent or should I own ?

Now there isn’t one right answer to the question, as it really comes down to what your individual requirements are for your business.  But Forkliftmarket wants to take a look at the real benefits for rental and the disadvantages of ownership.

Benefits of Rental

  • It allows you to focus on your core business.
  • Your business profit is generated through equipment use.
  • Minimizes or eliminates risk from your business.
  • You can have a Fleet modernization program in place.
  • Generally fast service and back-up equipment availability.
  • Compliance with Australian standards and Health and Safety Legislation.
  • The forklift rental company has to dispose of equipment.
  • You have the resources and flexibility to manage future needs.
  • Your business has reduced operating and overhead costs.
  • Most forklift rental companies have a computer based fleet management.
  • Improved operator productivity and efficiency (with improved technology).
  • Fully maintained equipment – no extra costs, with a single charge allows for simple budgeting.
  • You can consolidate all mobile equipment under a single fleet management package.
  • You can enjoy consistent and reliable service support

Disadvantages of Ownership

  • Time, difficulty and cost to manage.
  • Your business capital is locked up in a depreciating asset.
  • You run the risk of budgeted repairs and maintenance.
  • Risk of obsolescence with your fleet.
  • You have a large risk and cost of downtime with your fleet.
  • Safety or environmental risk.
  • Equipment disposal risk and costs.
  • You have no protection against unexpected risks.
  • Hidden costs e.g management and administration time, which is often overlooked.
  • General lack of control and poor maintenance of Repairs and Maintenance records.
  • Old or inefficient equipment adversely affects productivity and operator morale.
  • Uncertainties and difficulties of budgeting for repairs/major overhauls.
  • Complexities, time and costs of dealing with different service providers.
  • Service could vary nationally and be more difficult to manage.

Well there they are, it’s not an exhaustive list, its the benefits and disadvantages as we see them.  Just do your research before you do anything, you need to have an understanding of whats best for your business.

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  • Bolzoni Auramo

    Bolzoni Auramo release the Stainless Steel Coated Fork Tyne

    by on July 16, 2017 - 0 Comments

    The latest release from Bolzoni Auramo is the stainless steel coated fork tynes which are perfect for the spark free areas The stainless-steel-cladded forklift forks are the best option for areas that must be kept spark free. These areas include explosive environments where paint, chemicals and explosives are handled. These forks are also a great choice for […]

  • Forklift Checklist

    A Forklift Checklist And Why You Need To Use Them

    by on July 5, 2017 - 0 Comments

    It is part of forklift licencing in Australia that before starting a forklift checklist should be completed on the forklift, or what is referred to as a pre-start forklift checklist. Below you can find examples of 4 areas that should be done as part of a Forklift safety checklists that should be carried out by forklift users. Please note that […]

  • forklift driver training

    Why You Need Forklift Driver Training

    by on July 13, 2017 - 0 Comments

    Forklift Driver Training has changed plenty in the last year as has workplace training.  The onus is on the business to provide a safe workplace and training for its employees.  A business needs to make sure that their forklift operators are sufficiently trained as well as licensed to operate. More and more in today’s business […]

  • Tips For Buying Used Forklifts

    by on July 19, 2017 - 0 Comments

    If you are out looking at used forklifts to buy, there has never been a better time in the materials handling market.  There are plenty of bargains you can pick up, weather its a 2.5T Yale forklift or a 16T SMV Forklift, but as always there are some things you really need to be aware […]

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    Flameproofing Forklifts

    by on August 9, 2017 - 0 Comments

    Flameproofing forklifts, is actually a very common requirement in the necessary environment. Flameproofing of material handling equipment is the science of reducing the risk of an explosion or fire by means of specialized principles and technologies. The risk occurs wherever a flammable or combustible material is handled. This is not only confined to the mining […]