Central and northern England continue to experience premature failures of LPG systems due to vaporiser clogging. The UKMHA has received a communication from Phillips 66 regarding LPG produced at their Humber refinery along with an associated Safety Data Sheet.

Whilst their investigation has not finally concluded, we understand that HSE have identified markers tying vaporiser clogging failures to fuel supplied from this facility. 

P66 have asked us to draw your attention to the updated text in section 10.6 of the Safety Data Sheet. They say that this change does not anticipate any additional safe handling controls being required beyond appropriate measures for safe handling of hydrocarbon liquids (for example gloves and good hygiene practices to avoid exposure) and that residue should be appropriately disposed of as hazardous waste.

HSE is working with P66 to find a resolution, however, in so far as we are aware, this fuel continues to be placed on the market and the hazards relating to premature failure therefore remain. 

The chemical process leading to deposit formation has not been characterised and it is clear that the fuel standards, such as BS 4250, do not currently detect the markers identified at the levels being encountered. Accordingly, fuel certified as BS 4250 compliant cannot be assumed to be problem free, and users should contact their fuel supplier for further information and advice. 

Operation with contaminated fuel affects all makes and models of LPG fuelled trucks.

Until such time as uncontaminated supply of fuel can be assured, the advice provided in our LPG Safety Alert should continue to be followed. Importantly, the Safety Alert provides advice both for equipment operators and for technicians working on LPG systems on trucks.

All the Safety Alerts are published on the UKMHA website and have been created by the UKMHA Health & Safety Group to highlight hazards and safe working practices for technicians working on material handling equipment. They are freely available to members and non-members alike.

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