Worker burnt by flammable liquid

21-07-2010

A recent incident north west of Sydney has served as an unfortunate reminder of the dangers of working with flammable liquids.

A worker at a South Windsor manufacturing plant received burns to 40 per cent of his body while working with flammable thinners.

Initial enquiries indicate that the 25-year-old was decanting the flammable liquid when a spill ignited, severely burning the worker.

WorkCover NSW inspectors have attended the scene and will conduct a thorough investigation into the cause of the incident.

John Watson, general manager of WorkCover’s Occupational Health and Safety Division, warned of the dangers of working with flammable liquids, particularly in enclosed spaces.

“Even in small quantities, flammable liquids can ignite and cause considerable damage and severe burns to workers,” said Mr Watson.

“Spills and leaks should be contained and removed as soon as possible to reduce the risk of ignition,” he said.

Employers and those working with flammable liquids should ensure that:

  • Work is carried out in well-ventilated areas to avoid the build-up of flammable vapours
  • Liquids are handled outside and away from storage areas
  • Liquids are stored and handled away from ignition sources, such as flames, electric tools and sources of static electricity
  • Only approved dangerous goods containers are used when handling and storing flammable liquids.

Information on the safe use of flammable liquids is available at: www.workcover.nsw.gov.au

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