WorkCover NSW (Australia) is urging workers to be cautious when working with storage drums after a worker at an Orange plumbing business suffered serious injuries recently when the 44 gallon drum he was cutting exploded.
Acting General Manager of WorkCover’s Work Health and Safety Division, Peter Dunphy, said the 41-year-old worker was cutting the lid off a 44 gallon drum with a plasma cutter at the business on Dalton Street, Orange when the drum exploded,causing serious fractures to his head and upper body.
“Drums are often recycled and used as storage containers, particularly in agricultural settings,” Dunphy said.
“Typically, drums are cut using an angle grinder, plasma cutter, oxyacetylene burner or welding equipment.
“This is an extremely dangerous activity which has resulted in a number of workers being killed or seriously injured in recent years, including a 41 year old worker who was injured when the 44 gallon drum he was cutting exploded at a business at Bomen, north of WaggaWagga in January 2013.”
Testing Not in Place
According to Dunphy, WorkCover’s initial enquiries into the incident indicate that the worker had cut a number of drums before the one he was working on exploded and that no testing had been undertaken on the previous contents of the drum before the worker attempted to cut it.”
The worker was transferred to Royal North Shore Hospital and was placed in an induced coma.
WorkCover’s investigation remains ongoing.
Author Kori Shafer-Stack, Editor, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in post-injury response procedures and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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