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The oil and gas industry has always been a lifeblood of opportunity for our country and in recent years the industry has seen a rapid expansion in unconventional oil and natural gas production. While this is great for the economy and growth in a number of sectors, including propane dealers and fuel oil supply, it doesn’t come without a price. While the industry is set for more expansion, it’s an important time to look at the occupational safety topics involved within.
Safety and health awareness are important when it comes to working around propane and fuel oil sales and production. It’s not uncommon to hear about propane tank explosions that can end up being harmful and even deadly. With that in mind, let’s go over some of the safety topics within the propane and fuel industry.
Process Safety Management
Much like working in the oil and gas industry, propane dealers should follow certain safety standards when working with hazardous chemicals like propane. Those who work around the product should develop, implement and update process safety management programs at their facility as the majority of violations relate to the failure to develop such programs.
Hazard Communication and Health Safety
Working around propane involves—or should involve—a lot of communication. Propane dealers should adhere to what OSHA suggests when it comes to providing the right amount of training and education around propane. Dealers should properly train their employees the best way to handle all things propane—from storage to delivery to refilling.
And when it comes to safety, there are a number of issues to consider. Take inhalation for one. Low concentrations of propane aren’t harmful, but over time, and with higher concentrations, propane can be harmful and even fatal. Rapid heart rate, emotional upsets, fatigue and rapid breathing can all appear when being around too much propane.
Another health concern to look out for is skin contact. Direct contact with liquefied gas can freeze the skin and turn into frostbite. Symptoms include numbness, prickling and itching and even burning sensations. In severe cases, dead skin may develop.
According to OSHA, a General Duty Clause require employers to provide workers with a safe workplace that does not have any recognize hazards that cause or may cause death or serious injury when handling things like propane. Exposures to these hazards, like those mentioned above, need to be taken seriously.
Personal Protective Equipment
Since propane can be dangerous to be around, it’s important for propane dealers to operate with as much safety as possible. One other way this can be executed is through flame-resistant clothing when it comes to handling propane. Failure to provide this protection can be a hazard and hurt propane dealers with major fines.
Insurance for Propane Dealers
Propane dealers should know that there are options for protection against costly mistakes in their industry. Whether it’s paying for cleanup or being found responsible for leaks, late fees or explosions of any kind, propane dealers’ insurance is a fundamental piece of protection that’s mean to provide peace of mind and safeguard against more damage, both financial and reputational.
Propane dealers should have the right kind of insurance in place to provide the right amount of protection in the event of a mishap. This is one step toward reducing as much stress as possible in an already-stressful environment.
About Tangram Insurance Services
Located across the Golden Gate Bridge, just outside of San Francisco, Tangram is a full-service Managing General Underwriter and Program Manager offering specialty programs. We focus on industry-relevant coverage, competitive pricing, and practical business and risk management solutions for your clients. Since we are not all things to all people, we make sure to create outstanding custom-built solutions that matter to those businesses, and the brokers who serve those industries. Contact us at (888) 744-9810.