SafetyWatch: Safe fuel handling

June 1, 2016 -  By

It’s easy to forget that fuel is a toxic, extremely flammable substance. It can harm us, our environment and equipment, if used improperly.

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When it comes to equipment-filling techniques:

  • Avoid filling a hot piece of equipment, and never add fuel to a running machine. There is a risk that fuel spilled on the muffler or other hot component could ignite. Start a job with enough fuel to finish it, thereby filling a warm or cool machine, not a hot one.
  • Always clear dirt and debris from the filler cap before removing it, so they don’t enter the fuel tank.
  • Remove the filler cap slowly, as pressure builds up inside the tank in warm conditions, and pressure inside the tank needs to be released slowly.
  • Don’t overfill equipment or cans; fuel tanks need room for the fuel to expand. Always leave the “neck” of the tank or container empty. Most spillage occurs while “topping off” the tank.
  • Fill equipment in an area where spillage will not harm the surface if it’s spilled.
  • Wipe up spills and dispose of the absorbent material. Carry a special absorbent on the truck, use a rag or, as a last resort, use topsoil to soak up a large spill. Then, safely and properly dispose of the absorbent material after it has done its job.

Source: LS Training System, lstraining.com

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