Dangers of static electricity
Written on the 4 September 2012 by ACAPMA
Petroleum distributors and service station owners are being reminded that the advent of Spring brings on an increased risk of a static electricity fire. While the build-up of static charge can occur at any time, history has shown that it is more common during the dryer and winder conditions brought on by the change of season.
The Australasian Convenience and Petroleum Marketers Association, which represent the majority of fuel distributors and service stations in Australia, suggest that the fuel industry use September each year to train and update staff on the dangers of static electricity.
“While the dangers of static electricity in the fuel industry are not new,” said Nic Moulis, General Manager of ACAPMA.
“It is the responsibility of business managers and staff to have full knowledge of the dangers static charge brings, as well as being aware of what actions causes danger and what can be implemented to reduce the risks.”
The Work Health and Safety Act 2011 states that any persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBUs) must take necessary steps to ensure that safe systems are implemented maintained and supervised. In addition, all persons must be provided with adequate information and training to ensure their safety.
When it comes to handling and storing flammable liquids, the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 states a business owners obligations to manage the handling of hazardous chemicals and prevent ignition from static electricity. It also states that all processes must be regularly reviewed and revised.
“By using the start of Spring or September as a reminder, businesses should use toolbox meetings and training to reinforce the messages of safety to their employees,” said Mr Moulis.
The Petrol Convenience Forecourt Safety online course, offered by ACAPMAcademy (the education pillar of ACAPMA), covers all aspects of the appropriate safe working procedures when working on the forecourt including handling fuels. Click here for details.
For more information on the safe practices when transferring flammable liquids and reducing static electricity, call ACAPMA on 1300 160 270 or visit acapma.com.au
For a copy of the Australian Governments guide to fires caused by static electricity, click here.