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SAFETY ALERT: PICKUP TRUCKS WITH BED LINERS

I want to relate an incident that happened to an individual. He wasfilling a small gas can that was inside the bed of his pick-up which has a bed liner init. The gasoline spontaneously ignited, burning him in the process.

The investigation determined that this was caused by static electricity buildup fromthe plastic bed liner. I have since learned that this is not uncommon, and in fact thereare two technical bulletins out on this. One is from Ford Motor Corp. and the other isfrom Standard Oil Co. The recommendations on both are that you should never fill a gas canin the bed of a truck with a bed liner in it. Place the container on the ground to fillit. The Ford bulletin also stated that placing a rubber mat under the bed liner wouldalleviate this problem; however, the friend of mine had already done that and the gasolinestill ignited. This leaves the only way to fill gas cans is to place them on the ground.

Chevron USA has reported several instances of metal gas-cans exploding while being filledin the backs of pickup trucks at service stations. In a warning published in Chevron'sMarketing Bulletin 36-1904, Chevron said the insulated effect of the plastic liners foundin the back of many pickup trucks prevents the static charge generated by gasoline flowinginto a metal can from grounding. As the charge builds, it can create a static sparkbetween the can and the gas nozzle. Chevron is advising that all cans should be placed onthe ground away from vehicles and people when being filled.

WARNING - DEATH/ACCIDENT ON REFUELING CANS INSIDE BED LINERS
My daughter, an electrical engineer who is attending a seminar in Boston this week, calledme this AM to have me alert her father of possible death/injury when fueling a gas canthat is sitting in the back of a pickup truck with a bed liner. (We own a truck with adealer supplied bed liner and have boats, ATVs, and a lawn mower which would mandatefueling a gas can). A flame specialist at this seminar told me that there have been 23injuries/deaths because of pickup truck owners fueling a gas can/tank that is sitting inthe back of their pick-up truck without removing it. Apparently the bed liners do notprovide a ground and the fuel generates static electricity that can cause the fumes toignite. This specialist said that there was pressure on the bed liner manufacturers to puta warning label on their product. With the selling of so many pick-ups, of which manycustomers buy a dealer installed liner, I thought it best to draw attention to this claimfor further investigation.

Other Links

  • An article from the Center for Disease Control (CDC)
  • National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
  • University of Maryland
  • Oregon Occupational Safety & Health Division

If you have any further information on this subject, please ClickHere to let me know.

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