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Safe recovery of petrol from end of life vehicles - Summary

This guidance is specifically aimed at reducing the risk of petrol fire and explosion. The following is not an exhaustive list of control measures but does cover the majority of the issues within the more detailed guidance in HSE web publication - The safe recovery of petrol from end-of-life vehicles.

Points to consider when selecting a system

Petrol recovery

  1. Make sure the equipment is CE marked, comes with a comprehensive operators manual and suites your needs in terms of throughput, your site and your storage facilities.
  2. Carry out a risk assessment to ensure that risks are controlled, so far as is reasonably practicable.
  3. Identify zones around the equipment and work area where a flammable atmosphere may be generated.
  4. Only use equipment that is suitable for each of the zones, i.e. will not create an ignition source, such as pneumatic tools or electrical equipment marked as being safe (i.e. ATEX)
  5. Ensure the area is adequately ventilated.
  6. Ensure that spillages can be contained and that procedures are in place to deal with spillages.
  7. Equipment is comfortable to use (eg when working underneath vehicles).
  8. Ensure equipment is fail safe and properly labelled to avoid confusion.

Petrol storage

  1. Stores must be properly sited and given adequate separation distances. Special attention must be given to boundaries, buildings and proximity of combustibles.
  2. Maximum anticipated volume of petrol.
  3. Store security.
  4. Protect against collision from vehicles.
  5. Contain spillage by bunding.
  6. Does the store/ storage area need fire protection?
  7. Tanks and containers must be suitable for petrol.
  8. Overfill protection and fluid level measurement.
  9. Is the tank adequately vented?
  10. Is there sufficient signage?
  11. Exclusion of ignition sources.
  12. Fire fighting equipment provided.

Safe operation

  1. Operators competent in safe systems of work and use them.
  2. Spillage procedures practiced.
  3. Housekeeping to avoid build up of combustible materials.
  4. Exclusion of ignition sources.
  5. No smoking.
  6. Equipment properly maintained.
  7. Flame retardant protective clothing worn.
  8. Emergency procedures practiced.
Updated 2011-05-09