SafetyWatch: Fuel container filling tips

September 20, 2017 -  By

It’s important to train team members about fuel containers—sometimes called gas cans or jerry cans—that are typically used in the landscape business. They’re often red, and will have a “UL” mark designating them as safe to use for portable fuel storage.

Some cans will be a different color to denote a different fuel. For example, diesel fuel is sometimes stored in yellow cans. Remember, fuel cans should be marked in some way to distinguish the type of fuel in them. 

Here are a few filling tips:

  • Remove the filler cap slowly. Pressure builds up inside the tank in warm conditions, and pressure inside the tank need to be released slowly.
  • Be careful to “ground” the can being filled—simply place it on the ground while mixing and filling. Otherwise, a static electricity charge can build up and possibly ignite fumes from the fuel. Do not fill the can while it’s in your hand or on a truck or trailer. Trucks with plastic bed liners are especially prone to a buildup of static electricity.
  • Do not talk on a cell phone while filling. In some places this is forbidden at service stations due to the possibility of an electrical charge from the phone igniting fuel vapors. In any case, you should be paying attention while filling equipment, not using your cell phone.
  • Do not fill equipment in a spot where a spill will cause permanent damage: for example, on a lawn or on asphalt. Filling on concrete is best.
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