In an unfortunate recent accident, a drum said to have been “full of flammable material” is reported to have exploded while a person had been welding on it.
Of course, we are all saddened to hear of this very serious incident and hope the worker makes a full recovery – but it is incredible that these type of accidents continue to occur – as we hear of explosions and fires involving cutting or welding on containers every year.
Any person about to cut or weld on a drum or metal container should be “nervous”. And, if there is any doubt that it has or could have contained flammable or other harmful materials – they should take precautions before proceeding.
This risk is so common, that most safety authorities have issued one or more safety bulletins on cutting empty drums.
We recommend you assume the container (about to be cut) does contain harmful material until proven safe.