Gasoline Safety Tips for Contractors – Safety Tips for Gasoline on Construction Sites

This is an excerpt from “Gasoline Safety Tips for Contractors”. For more information, please visit

In Case of a Fire at the Pump…

Should a fire happen to break out, it’s important to follow these tips:

  • Drop everything
  • Get as far away as possible
  • Don’t try to remove the pump or stop the flow of gas
  • Immediately contact someone for help
  • If you are on fire … stop, drop and roll

Following these tips should keep you safe in the event of a gasoline fire at a gas station.

Fuels on the Construction Site

When it comes to fuels on the construction site, OSHA has some very specific fuel rules that you need to follow on a job site.

  • Fuels must be stored outdoors in an approved facility.
  • LP gas tanks cannot be stored inside buildings.
  • Heaters must be at least 6 feet away from any gas containers.
  • Spills must immediately be cleaned up.

Cleaning a Gas Spill

Should gas or any fuels be spilled at a job site, you need to immediately clean up the spill by:

  • Turning off anything that may cause a spark and ignite a fire.
  • If it’s in an enclosed area, make sure that there is good ventilation.
  • Lay down some sand, dirt, or cat litter.  Allow for it to absorb the gas.
  • Sweep up the dirt and properly dispose of the waste.

Stay Safe

At Hue & Cry Security Systems, we know our way around a construction site.  For years, we’ve been helping contractors with their fire and security needs.

Contractors keep coming back to us for our experience and our quality work.  As a low-voltage contractor, we get things done on time and on a budget.

To learn how we can help you, visit our website and see our Contractors Programs Page (  For more helpful tips for contractors, read the Hue & Cry Security Systems Blog (   Also, be sure to follow our Facebook page ( for great discussions and helpful tips for contractors.

Contractor Safety – Gas Lines


This is in excerpt from the article “Contractor Safety”. For more info, please visit

Gas Lines

It is important to work safely around natural gas transmission pipelines, compressor stations, storage wells and other facilities. Reduce the risk or damages and injury by following these safety tips:

  • Always “Call Before You Dig.” The most common cause of pipeline damage and failures is mechanical damage by excavating or demolition.
  • Watch for pipeline signs or markers. These markers identify the general area where natural gas pipelines run and show the name and phone number of the related company. Markers generally indicate the general, but not precise, location of a pipeline and don’t indicate the depth of line burial, so always call before you dig.
  • Be observant for leaks. Although leaks on natural gas pipelines are rare, be observant for dirt or water being ejected in the air, dead or dying vegetation (in an otherwise normal area) over or near pipeline areas, flames coming from the ground or appearing to burn just above the ground, a roaring, blowing or hissing sound near a pipeline, or a distinct odor of natural gas.
  • If a pipeline is damaged or you suspect there may be a natural gas leak, immediately switch off and leave any motorized equipment being used, get away from the immediate area, and call the utility company or fire department (911).

Learn more about natural gas, pipelines and safety by reviewing our Pipeline Integrity Management Program here

Gasoline Safety Tips for Contractors


This is an excerpt from “Gasoline Safety Tips for Contractors”. For more information, please visit

  • We all know that fuel and fire don’t mix especially well.  We’ve all seen enough Hollywood action movies with impressive explosions.

While gasoline explosions are rare, it’s important to take proper precaution whenever you’re using gasoline to fill up your truck or heavy equipment on the job site.

For contractors and subcontractors, it’s important to follow these tips to protect:

  • Your Vehicle
  • Your Equipment
  • Your Fellow Workers
  • And Yourself

If you follow these tips, you’ll be keeping everyone a lot safer.

Gas Station Safety

1. Make Sure That The Engine Is Turned Off

Before filling up, make sure the engine is turned off.  While the chances are low, it’s possible that a fire could ignite from the fuel vapor emitted while pumping.

2. Stay Outside Of Your Vehicle While Fueling

Going in and out of your vehicle can cause a static charge to develop.  This happens because your body rubs against the materials on your seats.

  • To avoid a static charge, touch a piece of metal before fueling.  Static charges are more common in the winter when the air is dry.

3.  No Smoking

If you smoke, hold off on that cigarette until after you fill up your tank.  A spark from the lighter or an ash from the cigarette could case a fire.

4.  Don’t Top Off

It’s not a good idea to top off your tank.  This could cause gasoline to spill on the ground, making it a lot easier to start a fire.

5.  Don’t Leave Gas Cans In Truck Bed

Leaving a can of gas in your truck bed could cause a fire. This happens when you have a plastic truck liner and a plastic gas can.  The two rub against each other causing static electricity, which can spark a fire.  You can see how this happens in the video below.

Contractor Safety – Power Lines

This is an excerpt from the article “Contractor Safety”. For more info, please visit

There are many safety hazards confronting contractors and construction workers on the job, particularly gas lines and overhead or underground electric lines. These hazards can be avoided by applying some basic safety principles and using common sense.

  • Visit our site for additional safety information for contractors.

Power Lines

There are many dangers associated with performing work in the vicinity of power lines, utility poles, guy wires, service drops and other power-related equipment. Reduce the risk of injury due to electric shock by following these safety tips:

  • Be observant for power lines and related equipment.
  • Use a spotter when heavy equipment is being used.
  • Be sure a clear boundary has been established around power lines before work begins.
  • Call Before You Dig” for all underground work.
  • Also see our sections on cranes and ladders.

Lockout: Communication


This is an excerpt from the article “Lockout”. For more info, please go to


The existence of this procedure will be communicated to all employees through orientation.

Train Your Workers

All workers performing lockouts and their supervisors must receive training. The training should address:

  • Importance of lockouts
  • Legal requirements for lockouts
  • Company policy on lockouts
  • The energy forms, hazards and procedures (administrative and work-related) that must be followed
  • The importance of following procedures
  • lockout errors to be avoided (for example, assuming the equipment is inoperable or that the job is too small to warrant a lockout)
  • The use and care of personal protective equipment
  • Proper use of all tools

Test employees by having them perform mock lockouts. Provide refresher trainer at least quarterly.

Enforce and Update Your Lockout Policy

Identify persons responsible for ensuring lockouts are properly followed and hold them accountable.  The best way to do this is to include this in their job descriptions.  Review lockout procedures periodically (semiannually) and revise them in light of any problems that may have been identified. When you change a process or equipment, lockout requirements may also change. Review and revise your lockout procedures whenever changes are made.

Emergency Exit Routes – Minimum Provisions of a Fire Prevention Plan


This is an excerpt from the article “Emergency Exit Routes”. For more information, please visit

Here are the minimum provisions of a fire prevention plan:

  • List of all major fire hazards, proper handling and storage procedures for hazardous materials, potential ignition sources and their control, and the type of fire protection equipment necessary to control each major hazard.
  • Procedures to control accumulations of flammable and combustible waste materials.
  • Procedures for regular maintenance of safeguards installed on heat-producing equipment to prevent the accidental ignition of combustible materials.
  • Name or job title of employees responsible for maintaining equipment to prevent or control sources of ignition or fires.
  • Name or job title of employees responsible for the control of fuel source hazards. In addition, when you assign employees to a job, you must inform them of any fire hazards they may be exposed to. You must also review with each employee those parts of the fire prevention plan necessary for self-protection.

How can I get more information on safety and health?

For more detail on exit routes and related standards see Exit Routes, Emergency Action Plans, and Fire Prevention Plans in Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 1910.33-39; and OSHA Directive CPL 2-1.037, Compliance Policy for Emergency Action Plans and Fire Prevention Plans. In addition, employers who comply with the exit route provisions of the National Fire Protection Association’s 101-2000, Life Safety Code, will be considered in compliance with the OSHA requirements for exit routes.

OSHA has various publications, standards, technical assistance, and compliance tools to help you, and offers extensive assistance through workplace consultation, voluntary protection programs, strategic partnerships, alliances, state plans, grants, training, and education. OSHA’s Safety and Health Program Management Guidelines (54 Federal Register 3904-3916, 1/26/89) detail elements critical to the development of a successful safety and health management system. This and other information are available on OSHA’s website.

  • For one free copy of OSHA publications, send a self-addressed mailing label to OSHA Publications Office, 200 Constitution Avenue N.W., N-3101, Washington, DC 20210; or send a request to our fax at (202) 693-2498, or call us toll-free at (800) 321-OSHA.
  • To order OSHA publications online at, go to Publications and follow the instructions for ordering.
  • To file a complaint by phone, report an emergency, or get OSHA advice, assistance, or products, contact your nearest OSHA office under the U.S. Department of Labor listing in your phone book, or call toll-free at (800) 321-OSHA (6742). The teletypewriter (TTY) number is (877) 889-5627.
  • To file a complaint online or obtain more information on OSHA federal and state programs, visit OSHA’s website.

Workplace Solutions: Lockout – Case Report

This is an excerpt from the article “Workplace Solutions: Lockout…”. For more information, please visit

Case Report

The NIOSH FACE program investigated the following incident in which a millwright was fatally injured be­cause of an uncontrolled release of energy while he was repairing a debarker [NIOSH 2006]:

The teeth on the debarker feed rolls had become worn, and the worker had been assigned to weld additional metal to build up the feed roll teeth. He had not con­ducted this type of repair before.

To safely de-energize this machine, six electrical sourc­es and one pneumatic energy source needed to be dis­connected and locked out, and the pressure in the air line that automatically controls the up and down mo­tion of the feed rolls needed to be bled off. The victim disconnected and locked out two of the electrical sourc­es (See Figure 1), but he did not disconnect and lock out the other four electrical sources or the pneumatic energy source, and he did not bleed off the pressure in the air lines. In this condition, the machine’s automatic control system remained energized. As the victim weld­ed metal to the feed roll teeth, he leaned forward and placed his head between the feed rolls to reach areas that required more metal. The feed rolls automatically cycled, and closed over his head.

His supervisor had left to check on another machine and when he returned, he found the millwright caught in the machine. Emergency medical services personnel arrived 20 minutes after receiving the 911 call and attempted cardiopulmonary resuscitation, but the mill­wright had died.

The millwright had been trained in general lockout/ta­gout procedures on the job, but the procedures failed to address the following:

  • The use of locks to ensure that the electrical sources remain disconnected.
  • The disconnect locations for the six electrical energy sourc­es and one pneumatic energy source for the debarker.
  • Procedures for bleeding, blocking, and verifying that stored pneumatic energy (air pressure) had been ren­dered safe.
  • Clearly labeling each lock with a durable tag (or dura­ble label or marking) to identify the worker assigned to a lock that is used to secure an energy control device.


NIOSH recommends that employers and workers take the following steps to prevent machine-related injuries:


NIOSH recommends that employers comply with the OSHA regulations outlined in 29 CFR* 1910.147, the control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout). Results of NIOSH fatality investigations indicate that the fol­lowing steps are particularly important.

  • Develop and implement a written hazardous ener­gy control program, including lockout/tagout proce­dures, employee training, and inspections before any maintenance or service work is done [NIOSH 1999].
  • Be sure that workers have a clear understanding of when hazardous energy control procedures apply and training on how to properly apply the procedures.
  • Ensure that procedures on lockout/tagout are devel­oped that are specific to each machine [NIOSH 2006; Michalscheck 2008].
  • Provide training to production workers in addition to maintenance workers in methods of energy isolation and control [see 29 CFR 1910.147(b)].
  • To effectively isolate each energy source, ensure that workers are provided with a sufficient number of lockouts and tagouts and other hardware that may be needed [See 29 CFR 1910.147(c)(5)(i)].
  • Clearly label isolation devices, such as breaker panels and control valves [NIOSH 1999].
  • After removing the lockout or tagout devices but before starting the machine, be sure that all employees who operate or work with the machine, as well as those in the area where service or maintenance is performed, know that the devices have been removed and that the machine is capable of being re-energized [OSHA 2002; 29 CFR Part 1910.147 (e)(3)].
  • Ensure that no one under the age of 18 works on ma­chinery declared hazardous in the Child Labor Rules [29 CFR 570.120].
  • Ensure that workers receive training in their prima­ry language.


  • Follow the regulations contained in your employer’s hazardous energy control program.
  • Complete all employer-provided training on hazard­ous energy control procedures.
  • Before beginning machine adjustment, maintenance, or servicing work, do the following [NIOSH 1999]:

1.  De-energize all sources of hazardous energy:

– Disconnect or shut down engines or motors.

– De-energize electrical circuits.

– Block fluid (gas or liquid) flow in hydraulic or pneumatic systems.

– Block machine parts against motion.

2.  Lockout and tagout all forms of hazardous ener­gy, including electrical breaker panels and con­trol


3.  Block or dissipate stored energy:

– Discharge capacitors.

– Release or block springs that are under com­pression or tension.

– Vent fluids from pressure vessels, tanks, or accumulators, but never vent toxic, flamma­ble, or

explosive substances directly into the atmosphere.

  • Make sure that only one key exists for each of your as­signed locks and that only you hold that key.
  • Verify by test and/or observation that all energy sources are de-energized.
  • Inspect repair work before removing your lock and activating the equipment.
  • Make sure that only you remove your assigned lock.
  • Make sure that you and your coworkers are clear of danger points before re-energizing the system (see 29 CFR 1910.147(e) and 29 CFR 1910.117(f).


Consider designing equipment that requires fewer and more easily accessible disconnect points to facilitate the use of safe lockout/tagout procedures for maintenance and repair [NIOSH 2006].

Lockout – Electrical Lockout


This is an excerpt from the article “Lockout”. For more info, please visit

Electrical Lockout

Shut down machine using normal operational shutdown procedure and controls. This should be done by, or in consultation with the machine operator.

After ensuring that the machinery has been completely shut down, and all controls in the “off” position, open the main disconnect switch located in the field. Some AC or DC drive units are located in a switch room, normally operated by electricians. In the case of DC drive units, a motor blower switch and a field switch must also be switched off which are located inside of the cabinet. If training has been conducted to allow other persons to operate this switch gear, a record should be made of the training duration and dates. If racking out is required in a MCC, a qualified electrician must be contacted. If fuses are to be removed, qualified personnel must use fuse pullers due to the proximity of the bus bar that is still energized.

Removal of fuses only does not constitute a lockout

Caution: Remember when disconnecting switches stand clear of the box, to one side, and face away while operating the switch with your left hand.  This is to minimize risk of injury should the switch explode due to arcing. When opening the main disconnect, a quick step to the right should be taken, as the knives disengage or when closing the main disconnect, the knives engage.  If the machine is of a different configuration with the disconnect switch on the opposite side, reverse your position and use your right hand to operate the switch. Any difficulties should be reported to supervision.

  • Using your own personal padlock, or one assigned by your supervisor, lock the disconnect switch in the off position. Do not lock only the box. Remove the key and retain.  Complete a lockout tag and affix to the disconnect switch. Each person working on the equipment must follow this step. The lock of the person doing the work or in charge must be installed first, remain throughout and be removed last.
  • Test the main disconnect switch and make sure it cannot be moved to the “on” position.
  • Try to turn start the machine using the normal operation controls and point of operation switches to make sure that the power has been disconnected.

Note: In some instances, there may be more than one power source feeding equipment and steps must be taken to ensure that all sources are effectively locked out.

Other sources of energy that could create a hazard while working on the equipment must also be de-energized and appropriately “locked-out”.   This can include flywheels, gravity, springs, capacitors, compressed air, hydraulics, steam and other pressurized or hazardous liquids and gases.

  • When the work is completed, prior to removing the last lock, make sure the operational controls are in the “off” position so that the main disconnect switching is done under “no load”. Ensure all blocks, tools and other foreign materials are removed from machine. Also ensure that all personnel that may be affected are informed that the lock(s) will be removed.
  • Remove lock and tag, and close the main disconnect switch if permission has been given.
  • When the work has not been completed on the first shift, the next operator should install a personal lock and tag before the first operator removes the original lock and tag. If the next operator is delayed, a lock and tag could be installed by the next supervisor. Lockout procedures should indicate how the transfer is to be conducted.


It is important that, for their personal protection, each worker and/or foreperson working in or on a machine places his/her own safety lock on the disconnect switch. Use tags to spotlight work in progress and give details of work being done (see figure 2). Only when the work is completed and the work permit signed off, may each worker remove his/her lock. The last lock to be removed should be that of the person supervising the lockout and this responsibility should not be delegated.

Minimum Elements of a Fire Emergency Exit Plan


What are the minimum elements of an emergency action plan?

  • Procedures for reporting fires and other emergencies.
  • Procedures for emergency evacuation, including the type of evacuation and exit route assignments.
  • Procedures for employees who stay behind to continue critical plant operations.
  • Procedures to account for all employees after evacuation.
  • Procedures for employees performing rescue or medical duties.
  • Name or job title of employees to contact for detailed plan information.
  • Alarm system to alert workers.

In addition, you must designate and train employees to assist in a safe and orderly evacuation of other employees. You must also review the emergency action plan with each employee covered when the following occur:

  • Plan is developed or an employee is assigned initially to a job.
  • Employee’s responsibilities under the plan changes.
  • Plan is changed.

Must all employers have fire prevention plans?

If you have 10 or fewer employees, you may communicate your plan orally. If you have more than 10 employees, however, your plan must be written, kept in the workplace, and available for employee review. Although employers are only required to have a fire prevention plan (FPP) when the applicable OSHA standard requires it, OSHA strongly recommends that all employers have a fire prevention plan (FPP).

This is an excerpt from the article “Emergency Exit Routes”. For more information, please visit

Workplace Soltuions: Lockout – Application of the Lockout/ Tagout Standard


This is an excerpt from the article “Workplace Solutions: Lockout…”. For more information, please visit

Application of the Lockout/Tagout Standard

Incidents related to lockout/tagout procedures were the most cited vio­lation in manufacturing by the Oc­cupational Safety and Health Admin­istration (OSHA) during 2006–2007 [Jarrell and Washam 2009]. One study analyzed OSHA accident investigation reports from 1984−1997 and found that in more than half of the 348 inves­tigated cases, lockout procedures were “not even attempted” [Bulzacchelli et al. 2008]. These figures reinforce the necessity of having a written hazardous energy control program and ensuring that employees understand and follow the procedures.

Lockout/tagout procedures APPLY in the following circumstances:

  • Workers are servicing and main­taining equipment, and unexpect­ed startup of the machine or re­lease of stored energy could occur [Jarrell and Washam 2009]
  • When, during normal production, workers must remove or bypass a guard or safety device [Jarrell and Washam 2009]
  • When, during normal production, workers place any part of their body into the danger zone or near the machine’s point of operation [OSHA 2002]
  • During all set up activities [Jarrell]