Best Practices for Handling Gasoline Related Repairs in Your Shop

By Brian Morgan

Most every auto repair shop services or replaces fuel pumps.  And that can require the gasoline tank to drained and/or removed. The biggest dangers with handling gasoline are the vapors.  Because the vapors are heavier than air they can travel quite a distance through the shop.  They can easily be ignited by a drop light or extension cord, a spark from a tool, grinder, welder, or even smoking.

Make sure you’re not putting your employees and business at risk by not training your employees in the proper methods of handling gasoline. Here is a list of “best practices” for servicing, removal of fuel from the gasoline tank, storing the fuel and refilling the tank.

Best Practices

Ignition Source

  1. Make sure the work area is well ventilated. Do the work outside if possible.
  2. “NO SMOKING” signs should be posted and enforced.
  3. Replace incandescent trouble lights with fluorescent or LED lights.
  4. Prohibit any welding, grinding, etc. within 20 feet or less of where the tank is being serviced.
  5. Keep multipurpose fire extinguishers available and near the work area.

Fuel Removal and Storage

  1. The work should only be performed by employees with sufficient skill and training.
  2. Before doing any work on or in a gasoline tank – completely drain the fuel.
  3. Only use a portable pump and storage tank (gas caddy) that is UL approved.
  4. Gasoline drained from the tank should only be stored in approved storage containers.
  5. Never drain or store fuel in an open container. Siphoning by mouth should be strictly prohibited.
  6. If the tank needs to be removed from the vehicle, use a good jack with an adapter designed to support the tank.
  7. Before beginning any repair, relieve the fuel system pressure and disconnect the battery.

Cover these procedures with your employees and make sure they are being followed.

For more information on gasoline handing and equipment visit www.johndow.com.