Investigations launched after worker sustains serious burns while cutting steel drum


SafeWork SA is investigating an incident in which a worker sustained serious burns whilst using oxy-acetylene cutting equipment to cut a steel drum in Mannum. It previously contained flammable liquid.

The incident happened on Tuesday.

Following the incident, SafeWork SA reminds anyone working with oxy-acetylene cutting equipment or used storage containers to stop and think before performing any hot work on them – has the container been used to store flammable liquid or gas, was it a chemical, is there a hazard diamond on the drum?

SafeWork SA says hot cutting equipment should not be used if the contents of the drum or container are unknown.

If this is unavoidable, SafeWork SA recommends the following measures –

  • The reuse of flammable storage containers should be avoided
  • Containers must be properly disposed of
  • Do not perform hot work on or near flammable storage containers unless all existing sources of ignition have been eliminated or controlled, the contents have been neutralised and the container has been properly cleaned and certified vapour-free by a competent person
  • Refer to the Safety Data Sheet and the manufacturer’s instructions and precautions before performing any work on a container
  • Provide proper training and supervision to all staff so they understand the risks
  • Develop safe work processes to manage the hazard and ensure all staff understand and are properly trained on these processes.

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