Are You Properly Handling Fuel in Your Auto Repair Shop? OSHA is paying attention

By Brian Morgan

If you are in the auto repair business odds are you’re probably servicing or replacing fuel pumps. And that can require the gasoline tank to be drained and/or removed. But, if you’re not following proper procedures or using the proper equipment then you’re putting your employees and business at risk.  There are numerous news stories every year where employees are injured and car repair garages are destroyed by leaking fuel or an exploding gas tank. And OSHA is paying attention.

What You Need To Know

Gasoline tanks need to be removed or drained to replace the fuel pump, service the fuel pump, replace the tank because of damage, or to remove contaminated fuel. The biggest danger with performing these services is dealing with a tank full of gas, or the bigger danger – the vapors.

Gasoline vapors are highly volatile.  Because gasoline vapors are heavier than air they can travel quite a distance through a shop. And it doesn’t take much to ignite them.  A drop light, extension cord, spark from a tool, grinding, welding or even smoking. That is why OSHA regulations apply.

OSHA

OSHA has regulations that cover the handling of gasoline in an auto repair shop. Its OSHA Regulation 1910.106-Flammable and Combustible Liquids. This regulation makes it “the employer’s responsibility to protect its employees from workplace hazards through providing appropriate methods of hazard control.”  

 In other words, make sure your employees are trained in the proper methods of handling gasoline and that proper “OSHA approved” equipment i.e. gas caddy, is available for them to use.

OSHA Approved Equipment

Under OSHA regulation 29 CFR 1910.106 – OSHA approved equipment must be tested, certified, and listed by a National Testing Laboratory, based on an approval standard of that lab. Universal Underwriters (UL) is the only lab that currently has a testing standard for steel gas caddies.  These standards require the equipment to be vigorously tested for leakage, rupture, stability, abuse and endurance.  All are tests that make safety the number one priority. When purchasing a gas caddy look for the UL mark.

With a commitment to safety and a modest investment in the OSHA approved equipment, you can have a safe workplace, comply with OSHA regulations, and become more efficient and profitable business.

For more information on steel gas caddies visit www.johndow.com.

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