Safety alert issued below from the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (IOPG).
A safety alert has been issued by IOGP regarding alcohol-based hand sanitisers being used for personal hygiene as per personal hygiene guidelines recommended during the COVID-19 pandemic. It has been reported that the hand sanitisers gel can be the cause of first and second degree burns if the gel is not fully dried and the fumes could ignite if exposed to an ignition source.
A recent incident that took place was of an employee who touched a metal surface where a build-up of static had created an ignition source. The result left the employee with first and second degree burns from an almost invisible flame.
What went wrong?
Hand sanitiser gels contain concentrations of alcohol. Once the hand sanitiser is applied, individuals must make sure the gel has suitable time to dry.
In the interest of safety, remember that alcohol vapours can ignite if exposed to an ignition source, such as light switches or cigarette lighters.
Corrective actions and recommendations.
The IOGP have advised corrective actions to help prevent such occurrences again.
- When using the alcohol-based hand gel sanitisers, ensure the gel is given suitable time to fully dry/evaporate.
- Avoid touching any surface until the gel has fully dried.
- If unsure about using the alcohol-based sanitisers, washing hands with hot soapy water has the same effect as the hand gel.
For safety alerts please see the IOGP Safety Alerts https://safetyzone.iogp.org/
A PDF version of the IOGP safety alert can be accessed at the following link https://www.ukchamberofshipping.com/documents/2192/safety_alert.pdf.