Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine
An incident in September 2011, in which a small business operator was severely burned after his clothing caught fire while operating a gas cutting torch has prompted the release of a new hazard alert on hot work.
Prince Edward Island’s Workers Compensation Board (WCB) in Charlottetown issued the alert in February, 2012. The lone worker was cutting the metal bars of a conveyor chain when the torch hose ruptured and caught fire, resulting in 3rd degree burns to 70 percent of the worker’s body, notes the alert.
The WCB probe determined that factors, such as a fire-retardant clothing was not being worn and the propane tank did not have an excess flow valve contributed to the injury.
The hazard alert offers recommendations: anyone involved with welding or cutting processes work must wear fire-retardant clothing; all welding and cutting burners must be equipped with reverse flow check valves installed as close as possible to the regulators; hose hangers should be used to suspend fuel lines above work whenever possible; and appropriate footwear should be worn for welding operations.
A first year welding apprentice would have known all this! The apprentice would have realized the dangers and either refused the work or made the appropriate changes to better make the area safe.
I shudder to think how many more times workers are going to be seriously hurt because an employer was not aware of the hazards through an assessment plan. The supervisor was no better because a tool box meeting, properly run, would have discussed the hazards involved and placed hazard controls to be able to have worked safely.
We keep reporting these because many employers still do not know their responsibilities for health and safety. I hope we have helped at least one worker out there. If so, then we have accomplished something.
Remember – In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”
HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs including ‘Due Diligence’, ‘Propane Handling and Exchange’, Welding Safety Awareness’ and ‘Standard Operating Procedures’. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal – CHSEP – Advanced
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.