Incident alert issued following chemical explosion

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland issued a reminder following a chemical explosion in May 2018 where two workers were seriously injured.

Queensland’s safety regulator reminds everyone that flammable liquids, including petrol, ethanol, and solvents give off hazardous vapours which can ignite if not managed properly.

There have been 169 accepted workers’ compensation claims for incidents related to flammable liquids or gas, with 14 of these involving fuel igniting or exploding.

“The risks of these vapours igniting is further increased when working in a confined area, creating a hazardous environment of vapours that may ignite without warning,” the alert reads.

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland says risks should be managed by ensuring that the work area is properly ventilated and is monitored for flammable gasses or vapours; voids or compartments that may harbour a flammable atmosphere are identified; ignition sources have been removed, controlled or isolated; any hot work undertaken by qualified people with hot work permit system; and if there is a risk of fire, an observer is in place with appropriate firefighting equipment.

More information about this alert is available on Workplace Health and Safety Queensland’s website.

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