Avoidable Propane Disaster Demonstrates Value of OSHA Safety Training

Safety Violations, Poor Safety Training and Propane don’t Mix

Propane safety is a serious matter. In August 2014, an explosion at a St. Louis trucking terminal during a routine propane tank replacement sent  a number of workers to the emergency room. The ingredients  for disaster:

  • a loose coupling connection on a propane tank
  • the forklift’s ignition mechanism
  • a lack of proper safety training

The result: Four injuries, two critical, and a number of OSHA violations and fines totalling $119,000.

Had the company had a standard of routine safety training as well as documented and enforced safety procedures in place the disaster might have been averted.

Handling Propane: Better Safe Than Sorry

Propane cylinders lined up in industrial plantPropane is a volatile substance that can quickly vaporize and set an area ablaze. The Saia Motor Freight Line case involved serious mishandling of propane where the gas was exposed to an ignition source in an enclosed space. The company failed to evacuate workers after the leak and had no procedures in place for proper ventilation, for hazardous gas safety education, or even for the use of protective gear when handling hazardous materials. Clearly these results indicate a lack of proper safety training in an environment where workers dealt with volatile propane gas on a daily basis.

Beyond the serious propane hazard, however, subsequent OSHA investigations at Saia revealed use of trucks in need of repair, particularly to their safety switches, unlabeled hazardous chemicals, multiple electrical safety hazards and a clear lack of proper safety training throughout.

 

Safety Training for Working in a Hazmat Environment

Companies big and small, experienced and new, must place a high priority on recognizing the dangers of flammable fuels and do everything in their power to protect their workers. Even the smallest leak can ignite vapors and result in a life-threatening explosion. For companies that work with hazardous materials or situations, workplace safety begins by requiring all workers to enroll in an OSHA safety training course. In a basic online OSHA 10 hour training course, workers learn crucial safety procedures and, importantly for preventing accidents like this one, are trained to adopt a safety mindset and recognize and avoid hazardous situations.

In addition to online OSHA 10 hour training, workers who work in an environment where they encounter hazardous materials can enroll in an online HAZWOPER course that teaches safe handling of hazardous waste and other hazardous materials in the workplace.

Enroll in an OSHA 10 Online Course

Mottos, mission statements and posters aren’t enough. Careless decisions and a lack of understanding can result in tragedy. Only through training can workers protect themselves on the job and employers set a high standard of safety for their workplace. Protect yourself and your workers and build your reputation by enrolling in an OSHA or HAZWOPER course today.

Share with others...
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInShare on RedditShare on StumbleUponDigg this