Safety alert issued after worker was seriously injured by flammable liquid fire

flammable gas

WorkSafe WA released a new safety alert following a serious incident at a mechanical workshop involving the ignition of a flammable liquid.

According to an investigation, an ignition source was introduced near an open tray of solvent which ignited the fumes, causing serious burn injuries to a worker attempting to control the fire, and destroying the building.

“WorkSafe has investigated multiple incidents in recent years in which the storage and use of flammable liquids in open containers has resulted in significant fires and injuries to workers as a result of an introduced ignition source,” the safety alert reads.

WorkSafe WA says it is essential to consider whether a non-flammable or combustible substance (with higher flash point) could be used instead of a flammable liquid. It is also important to ensure sufficient ventilation is provided in areas where flammable liquids are used and stored and to store and use flammable liquids in closed containers as far as practicable.

Where the use of open containers/trays cannot be avoided, WorkSafe requires implementing stringent controls to ensure ignition sources are not introduced into the work activity area.

The safety regulator also said regular audits of MSDS/SDS and labels are essential to ensure the information is current and matches products exactly.

Information and training on the potential hazards associated with the use of flammable liquids; safe work methods; and managing spills, providing first aid or extinguishing fires should also be provided to workers.

More information about this safety alert is available on WorkSafe’s website.

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