WorkSafe has reminded employers and occupiers of premises where dangerous goods are stored about the dangers of using electrical equipment that is not rated for use in hazardous areas.
An employee was injured when a paint mixing machine ignited flammable vapours. The flammable vapours came from dangerous goods (paints and solvents) stored in the paint mixing area.
The paint mixing machine was not rated for use in a hazardous area.
Employers and premises occupiers handling dangerous goods have the responsibility to identify and assess potential hazards that may endanger employees and others.
In areas prone to flammable vapors look for a fuel source (such as flammable or combustible substances), a source of oxygen (typically the air), and an ignition source (e.g., electrical equipment, sparks, open flames).
To mitigate the risk of fire or explosion all ignition sources should be eliminated from hazardous areas.
Equipment used in such areas must be intrinsically safe and suitable for hazardous environments, which can be verified by checking supplier information and ratings.
Employers must maintain and ensure the efficient functioning of ventilation systems, keeping containers closed when not in use, storing containers away from hazardous areas, and properly disposing of any unused flammable liquids.
The Code of Practice for the storage and handling of dangerous goods provides practical information on how to comply.
Learn more here