Safety first

Simple practical demonstrations can be very effective learning tools. I always remember, during a Corgi training session getting the feel of the ignition temperature of natural gas. A lighted cigarette is not hot enough for ignition, and was shown to be so, while a lighted match did cause ignition. Hence ’no smoking’ signs near a gas leak are sensible, because although lighted cigarettes may be safe, their means of light up are not.

A basic useful practical demonstration for young engineers and apprentices is a doll with long hair being held next to a fast rotating drill or lathe and getting scalped. This demonstrates the risk of flowing long hair in the workplace in a whole host of scenarios such as rotating machinery, electrics and naked flames.

Such a demonstration would be useful for the young female apprentice depicted in your Viewpoint article by Adam Afriyie (The Engineer, 22 March). The picture made uneasy viewing in spite of her safety glasses and badge.

PH Field, St Alban