Safe Fueling Procedures

Originally published 03/27/2018

Vehicle and equipment fueling procedures and practices are designed to minimize pollution of surface or ground waters. Safety is always a priority. The hazards involved with fueling equipment on a construction site include gas and fuel fires, spills, vapors and slips, trips and falls. Here are some precautions you should take to prevent a fueling accident:

Fueling Station

  •  Keep a spill kit available and train workers to use it.
  •  Keep a fire extinguisher at the fueling station.
  • Set up fueling stations in well-ventilated areas.
  • Maintain all pumps, hoses and nozzles in accordance with manufacturer’s specifications.
  • Inspect fueling areas and storage tanks regularly.
  • Clearly post instructions for safe operation of fueling equipment and appropriate contact information for the person(s) responsible for spill response.

Fueling Your Vehicle

  • Shut the engine off.
  • Ensure that the fuel is the proper type of fuel.
  • Do not use electronic devices, such as cell phones while fueling because a spark could ignite a fire.
  • Before dispensing fuel into your vehicle, touch a metal part of your vehicle that is not close to the fuel tank. This helps dissipate any static build-up on your body created when you slid out of your vehicle.
  •  Never smoke while fueling. Also, make certain there are no other potential sources of ignition, such as open flames or spark-producing equipment operating in the area.
  •  Do not overfill the fuel tank.
  • Allow for fuel expansion on hot days.
  • If you are refueling portable equipment such as lawn mowers, generators, chain saws, or anything else with a fuel-powered engine, let the engine cool down before you add fuel to the tank. Spilling fuel on a hot motor instantly creates a cloud of highly flammable vapor, which can easily catch fire or explode.
  • Use only safety cans or other approved portable fuel containers to transport or transfer fuel. Unapproved containers can leak, spill fuel, or rupture.
  • Never dispense fuel into a can or other portable container while it is sitting in your vehicle or truck bed.
  • If you have a fuel spill:
    • Clean it up immediately using the appropriate spill kit.
    • Remove any clothing that has absorbed gasoline and thoroughly wash the fuel from your body.
    • Properly dispose of the clean-up materials.

Fuels can be highly flammable and, if handled improperly, these substances can make fueling equipment a dangerous task. Be aware of the hazards and follow the prevention steps to avoid an incident on your site.

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