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Refueling Safely

three sixty safety - safety matters - fuel and gas safety

Refueling Safely

Though refueling is a common activity, it can be an extremely dangerous task. Not only can improper refueling cause burns, fires, or explosions, but the gasoline or diesel itself is also a hazardous substance with the potential for leaks and spills. That is why it’s important to practice refueling safely.

Refueling your equipment safely always helps in a way that keeps yourself, others, and your vehicle safe from damage. Here are some tips to follow when refueling:

General Guidelines:

  • Always concentrate on the task at hand. Do not try to complete other tasks while refueling.
  • Stand by the tank so you can act quickly if something goes wrong.
  • Do not refuel while smoking, while others are smoking, or near any other open flames.
  • Do not overfill the fuel tank. 95 percent full is a good guideline for any type of vehicle or container.
  • On hot days, allow room in the tank for the fuel to expand.

Refueling Portable Equipment or a Portable Container:

  • Place the container on the ground when refueling safely, never on the bed of the work vehicle.
  • Keep the nozzle in contact with the fuel tank’s inlet tube.
  • Do not refuel in areas with heavy vehicle or foot traffic.
  • Do not refuel in areas that have the potential for spills or fuel ignition.
  • Use only approved containers.
  • After filling, wipe off the container and ensure the cap is secure and the air vent is tight.

When Refueling Machinery Safely:

  • Turn off the engine and chock the wheels if there is a possibility the equipment or vehicle could roll.
  • Do not top off the tank.
  • Use only the hold-open latch provided on the pump.

Rules for Refueling Areas:

  • Clearly mark refueling areas to avoid the possibility of accidents, including spills or inadvertent ignition.
  • Clean up all spills immediately. If you have to leave a spill unattended, mark off the area to reduce to possibility of slips.
  • Make sure there is a fire extinguisher available in the area before you begin fueling and that you know how to use it.
  • Keep the entire area unobstructed, making sure equipment can enter and exit the area smoothly and that it is free of garbage and debris.


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