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Flammable Liquid Drum

Incident Alert
25 October 2018

We are investigating an incident that occurred yesterday at Salisbury Plain in which a worker sustained serious injuries. It is believed the worker was making modifications to a drum that is understood to have previously contained flammable liquid. The investigation is continuing.

General safety information

SafeWork SA reminds anyone working with storage containers to stop and think before performing any hot work – has the container been used to store flammable liquid or gas, was it a chemical, is there a hazard diamond on the label?

SafeWork SA recommends businesses prohibit the cutting or welding of metal drums. If this is unavoidable, the following measures should be implemented:

  • Reuse of flammable storage containers should be avoided and containers must be properly disposed of
  • Do not perform hot work on or near flammable storage containers unless all existing sources of ignition have been eliminated or controlled, and the container has been properly cleaned, and the contents have been neutralised and certified vapour-free by a competent person
  • Always refer to the Safety Data Sheet and the manufacturer’s instructions and precautions before performing any work on a container
  • Always provide proper training and supervision to all staff so they understand the risks
  • Develop safe work processes to manage the hazard and ensure all staff understand and are properly trained on these processes.

See the National Code of Practice for Welding Processes.