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Gasoline Safety Toolbox Talk

Learn about the properties and dangers of gasoline and how to properly handle it on the jobsite.

Gasoline safety talk

Gasoline is commonly kept in work sheds, garages, and other places on the jobsite or in the home. It’s important to ensure that gasoline is stored and handled properly, to reduce safety risks for yourself and others. 

Characteristics of gasoline

Gasoline is a clear liquid, with an iridescent look. You must properly label gasoline canisters so they are not mistaken for another material or substance. Most of the time, gasoline can be identified by its distinct smell, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Gasoline should never be treated carelessly or used without exercising caution. It is extremely flammable, and its vapors, which are denser than air, travel quickly. Fires can ignite in seconds. 

Safety tips for gasoline

Some safety tips that you should keep in mind when handling gasoline are:

1. Never throw a gas container that's on fire

If you are holding a container of gas and it ignites, you should never throw the can or swat at it with your hand. Do not panic.

Calmly set the container of gasoline down and back away. If you cannot safely put out the fire yourself, or if it is growing too quickly for you to handle, contact emergency personnel immediately. By remaining calm, you’re more likely to avoid injury.

2. Use gas correctly

Incorrect usage of gasoline can result in severe injuries. Never use gasoline in place of:

  • Solvents

  • Cleaners

  • Accelerants

  • Degreasers

  • Weed killer

Gasoline can be used properly as fuel for:

  • Cars

  • Lawn mowers

  • Motorcycles

  • Work equipment

  • Golf carts

  • Weed eaters

3. Always store gasoline away from ignition sources

It is not safe to use gasoline around fire, sparks, or other ignition hazards. Remember, the vapors of gasoline are denser than air, and can travel quickly. If you are near an open flame and begin pouring gasoline into a container, you are at increased risk of starting an accidental fire.

Always use caution and be aware of your surroundings.

4. Use approved and labeled gasoline containers

Gasoline should always be stored in approved, labeled containers.

If gasoline is needed regularly on the jobsite, you may be keeping large quantities on hand. However, you should only store what is needed, not a surplus, to reduce the risk of incidents.

5. Use proper PPE

When you are handling gasoline and have to transfer it or fill new containers, you should always use the proper PPE. Again, gasoline is a very volatile substance and should be handled with extreme care.

The proper PPE that should be worn when handling gasoline includes:

  • Chemical gloves

  • Flame retardant clothing

  • Safety glasses

6. Be aware of gasoline safety procedures

You are responsible in the workplace not only for your own health and safety, but also the safety of your coworkers. If you notice that gasoline is being improperly stored, or stored in a container that isn’t labeled, immediately notify your supervisor.

Mistakes are made, and even the most careful worker can slip up and cause a safety violation. That is why keeping your work environment safe and following regulations so important.

Workplace accidents and injuries can be avoided if proper attention is paid to safety.

Safety hazards of gasoline

Here are some of the common safety concerns of working with gasoline:

  • Irritation to nose and throat from smelling fumes

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Dizziness and headache

  • Trouble breathing and loss of consciousness

If you or anyone else in the workplace is experiencing any of these symptoms, stop all work and seek emergency medical attention.

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