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Gas spill in a comercial building.

4431 Views 16 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  aaron61
One of my sites is a 12 story residential building in Chicago. No one lives there yet. And, the entry lobby area just got primed.

As we loaded our stuff on the elevator, the gas can fell off the cart, and about a quart of gas spilled onto the concrete floor. It spread into a 4 foot X 4 foot area.

Earlier that day there was a water leak inside the electric/ellivator room. That water was still drying off, and there was a hose running through the hall. And the gas was 5 feet from the puddle that lead to the electric room.

My guys reacted fast ... GREAT!!! But they did the wrong thing! One guy yelled "Grab the hose!" The other guy turned it on, and hit the gas puddle. YIKES!!!

I kinked the hose, and demanded that everyone get down on the 1st floor right away for a safety meeting. I helped the aprentice sop the gas/h2o up with rags, and made him stand guard over the spill/wet rags while all 7 painters came down. He was directed to not let anyone walk over it, smoke by it, and be vigilant about it.

The guys showed up, and the speach went like this ...

Before I continue ... what would you say?

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#1. "Guys! the drywall will soak up the gas when it hits it, and gas floats on water ... haven't you ever seen an oil spill? Think about it!"

#2. Gas floats on water. A puddle to the electric room is near by.

WHY? WHY!!! Would you want to SPREAD a gas spill to an electric room in a high-rise?

How do you dispose of thinner-stain rags? Gas = same thing!

Ok. Here's the deal. Sop up the gas with rags. Rub the gassed area with soap ... neutralize it. Then, create an area that is "no-slip" with an abrasive material. Dust. Fill a 5-gal bucket with h2o. Submurse the gas soaked rags, and cap it.

If you hit it with a hose ... the gas floats on top ... and soaks into the drywall ... for a future fire.

If the puddle with the electric room / elevator room conects with the gas ... so will a spark. VOOM! Perfect for a smores party near a Starbucks.

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On a residential ... go ahead and wash the gas into the yard ...

Not a great epa thing to do ... but on a comercial/residential job ... don't wash it into a bigger problem!

Mrs O'Leary's Cow ... all over again. (Burnt Chicago down in the 1800's.)

Why are you having a hard time with Elevator?
Roof drain was never tested. The storms hit hard the other day. They poured out pretty quick. The roof drain is a shaft that runs the same route as the elevator room.
YES! I agree. My point was the reaction to any chemical spill. Running for the hose was something that made me worry about future spills. I wasn't worried at all about this one. I was getting them ready for the 55 gallon drum that might tip on one of their jobs 10 to 20 years from now.

Think before you react!

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