A welder was killed following a violent explosion on an aluminium fish boat. At the time of the accident
the welder was welding a seam on the stern flotation compartment that was located next to the vessel's
gas tank. The vessel was in a boat builder's shop for renovation and repairs. One of the repairs
was to the gas tank that had been leaking. The tank had been removed, and repaired, and was being
replaced when the accident happened. Tests, following the accident,
found explosive levels of gas vapours in the forward compartments of
this vessel. Gasoline from the gas tank had leaked into the compartment
below the gas tank and then travelled into all the other compartments.
Prior to the welding, there had been no testing done for volatile
or flammable substances in any
of the boat's compartments.
Safe work practices:
- Employers, ensure the
workers in the
of their duties.
- Institute a system of inspection
and tests (using proper testing
equipment) before any work is
undertaken when workers are
employed in an area where there is
the possibility of the presence of
volatile or flammable substances,
gases or vapours.
- Ventilate, purge, clean and re-test
before welding any area or space
where a harmful atmosphere may exist.