Warning: Worker burned in gas incident

By Michael Selinger on June 29th, 2017

Recently, a 32-year-old baker in NSW suffered serious burns to his face, neck and arms following an explosion at the bakery when he attempted to light a portable gas burner.

As a result, SafeWork NSW has announced a blitz of restaurants, cafes and bakeries using LPG cylinders. Although SafeWork NSW is conducting inspections of food businesses across the State, it is a stark reminder for businesses to assess how they store and use LPG cylinders.

Portable gas appliances present many risks including the risk of fire, explosion and asphyxia.

As such, portable gas appliances should only be used in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions. Importantly, all portable gas appliances must be certified in accordance with Australian Standards and, in most jurisdictions, must be approved by an accredited certifier.

Plus, with the winter months here, be careful to only use portable gas heaters and appliances in well-ventilated areas – and check them regularly for leaks to avoid the risk of asphyxia. The storage of gas appliances and cylinders is also important. They should be outdoors or in an open area.

The other issue that SafeWork inspectors have found is that many businesses are importing portable gas appliances from overseas. The risk here is that often the imported appliances do not comply with Australian standards and have not been approved by a certifier.

3 tips to reduce the risk of fire, explosion and asphyxia

  • Review your organisation’s use of portable LPG cylinders to check they are fit for use.
  • Consider how you are using and storing them and ensure that this is done in the safest manner possible.
  • If you are going to fire up a gas appliance, be sure you have read and are following the manufacturer’s instructions and ensure that only trained staff are undertaking that work.

Managing fire risks in the work environment is an essential part of your business’s safety system. And ensuring you have the right emergency procedures in place should an incident occur is just as important.

The Health & Safety Handbook has include two chapters that can guide you through these critical workplace safety areas: F2 Fire Safety and E3 Emergency Management. Written by our team of health and safety legal experts, these chapters covers areas such as:

  • Managing the risk of a fire or explosion
  • How to determine what equipment your workplace needs
  • Carrying out an evacuation in the event of a fire
  • Minimising the risk of an explosion in your workplace
  • Developing and implementing an emergency management plan

These chapters are just two of more than 70 chapters in the Handbook. Order your copy today on an obligation-free trial to see how the Health & Safety Handbook can be put to work at your business.

A few words from a happy Health & Safety Handbook subscriber:

“I use the Health and Safety Handbook frequently in my role as a HSE Advisor and while completing my studies. I have found the information very reliable, well formatted and easy to follow. The process of updating my handbook each month helps me to keep up-to-date with my HSE knowledge. Learning from recent Case Law examples in the Health and Safety Industry at the same time is also a big bonus. I am able to better educate and engage my teams at our sites across Qld, NSW and South Australia using this invaluable resource.”

—   Adam Eyles, RetireAustralia

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