Background

In the past few years, multiple workers have been injured while working with vehicle fuel tanks.

In December 2018, there was a major fire at a metal recycling facility in Smithfield that required a Fire & Rescue NSW road retrieval team and helicopter. Two workers  were seriously burned and had to be transported to hospital for treatment. Other workers were treated on-site for smoke inhalation.

Key considerations

  • Autogas and petrol are highly flammable substances and a small spark can be all it takes to ignite a tank and lead to a serious fire and/or explosion. Tanks containing either substance should be removed and stored far away from any ignition sources.
  • Dismantling vehicles is dangerous work and we cannot overstate the importance of having the correct systems in place to limit the risks.
  • Vehicles should not be crushed if there are fuel tanks or fuel systems still attached to the vehicle.

Actions Required

  • Workplaces should have effective emergency procedures in place and train all staff in the emergency procedures.
  • Only workers trained and competent in the handling of Autogas should work on vehicle fuel systems - this includes a licensed gas fitter if removing an Autogas system.

Further information

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