Over the last two months there have been TWO SERIOUS INCIDENTS when bitumen boilers have caught fire in the North East.
Hot bitumen and the use of bitumen boilers can cause serious burns.
ACCIDENT / INCIDENT IMAGES
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LEARNING POINTS / ACTIONS TAKEN
Extreme care must be taken when handling hot bitumen and in particular you must:
•WEAR protective clothing including helmet, face visor, gauntlets and safety footwear where contact or spillage is likely.
•DO NOT place hands inside the burner chamber when lighting boilers.
•ENSURE no water is present in the boiler.
•ALWAYS cordon off a bitumen boiler before leaving it unattended and close the lid.
•ALWAYS keep fire extinguisher in close proximity to the working area. (Only use Dry powder, CO2 or Foam were possible cover with a Fire Blanket if safe to do so).
•NEVER try to extinguish a bitumen fire with water
•KEEP a regular check on the boiler to ensure the status of burner and bitumen to avoid overheating and/or the release of unburnt LPG vapours.
•MAKE SURE all hoses are reinforced, in good condition, and of an adequate length to keep the gas cylinder at least 3m away from the bitumen boiler when burner is lit. Exceptions to this are purpose built boilers with a heat resistant shield between the burner and the gas bottle.
•ALWAYS keep cold water close at hand to cool skin affected by hot bitumen. Never pour water onto the bitumen in the boiler.
•FIRST AID; If a burn occurs from contact with hot bitumen, cool the skin by plunging in cold water for at least ten minutes. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO REMOVE BITUMEN. SEEK QUALIFIED MEDICAL HELP.
•ONLY PUT OUT FIRES IF IT IS SAFE TO DO SO. IF UNSAFE CLEAR THE AREA AND CALL THE FIRE BRIGADE. ALWAYS KEEP PEOPLE AWAY FROM THE FIRE BY CORDENING OF THE AREA.
LEARNING POINTS / ACTIONS IMAGES
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