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Incidents prompt WorkSafe to issue warning about working with flammable products

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A dentist suffered third degree burns to the face and hands after an explosion at a surgery in Reservoir.  

The incident has prompted WorkSafe to issue a warning about the need for extreme care to be taken when working with flammable products. 

WorkSafe inspectors went to the surgery where it is believed gas from a disposable bottle escaped and was ignited by a nearby Bunsen burner in a workshop attached to the practice.

The disposable gas bottle is of the type that is pierced by an appliance or tool that is to be used.

According to WorkSafe, the incident was the third serious incident involving flammable products, attended by the health and safety regulator this year.

A man using a steel drum containing a flammable construction industry product suffered burns at Niddrie on October 2. A man who was brazing a steel drum also suffered severe injuries when flammable residue inside exploded on 3 May at Moolap on the Bellarine Peninsula.  

According to WorkSafe, there is frequently little room for error when flammable products are involved. That’s why it’s essential that potential sources of ignition, naked flames, welding or cutting gear or even faulty electrical appliances must be controlled.  

Using flammable products means extreme care must be taken as the consequences can be instant and last a lifetime.

According to WorkSafe, as the Work Safe Week is coming up next week (23-27 October), it is the time for all workplaces to look at the potential causes of injuries and deaths and develop the systems and practices to achieve prevention.

Prevention is better than cure. The many human and commercial costs of fixing safety issues and helping injured people after the event can be avoided. 

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