DMP reminds public to be cautious when re-using empty petrol drums.
|Date:||Friday, 11 July 2014|
DMP has issued a safety reminder about people handling used dangerous goods drums following a tragic Queensland death last month.
The Department of Mines and Petroleum has issued a safety reminder about people handling used dangerous goods drums following a tragic Queensland death last month.
The 60 year-old died on a cattle station in western Cape York when a petrol drum he was welding exploded.
DMP Acting Executive Director for Resources Safety Ivor Roberts said that while used drums could often be re-purposed after their initial use for transporting and storing fuel or other dangerous goods, the practice can be dangerous.
“Western Australians are known for being resourceful, cut a drum in half lengthways and it transforms into a feed trough, add a stand and a grill plate and it becomes a bush barbie – there are many potential uses,” Dr Roberts said.
“Unfortunately however, if an angle grinder is used to cut through a drum that has not been thoroughly cleaned, the consequences can be fatal.”
In 2011, two Western Australians died as a result of using an angle grinder to cut up a 205-litre drum.
In both incidents, sparks from the angle grinder ignited residual flammable liquid inside the drum, causing an explosion.
Dr Roberts said people considering re-purposing a drum previously used to store dangerous goods should ensure there are no residual chemicals inside.
“People should only use or purchase drums that have been thoroughly cleaned and no longer have a dangerous good label on them,” he said.
“If there is any doubt about the drum contents, angle grinders and other heat or spark inducing equipment should not be used to cut them.”