Ri$k Happens: The weld held, but the spark spread

Nov. 15, 2020 - By Mary Ann Gormly, CERP - Loss Analyst, ARA Insurance

An employee was hard at work welding a box to hold rental equipment. He followed safety precautions to protect himself from burns including wearing welding goggles and a helmet. He was wearing fire-resistant clothing, welding gloves and an apron.

It was nearing the end of his shift and the rental store would be closing soon. He stored his tools, put away his PPE and locked up the shop for the night happy that he had completed his project.

The next morning when he returned to work, he was greeted by his boss at the gate. The rear of the shop had burned overnight. It was believed an errant spark was smoldering undetected as the employee left the area and erupted into a fire later. It appeared the fire started near a stack of pallets just a few feet away from where the employee was welding.

Remember to check your entire area for hazards with any job, not just the immediate vicinity.

This item, provided by ARA Insurance, Kansas City, Mo., contains real-life insurance claims involving rental stores and is intended to help readers better understand and manage risk. For more safety and risk management information, customers of ARA Insurance can log on to ReSource. Access is free, so if you haven’t signed up yet, contact your agent or call 800-821-6580.

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