Gas utilisation incidents

There were 607 gas utilisation incidents reported during the period 2004/05 to 2013/14. 30% occurred within a workplace setting and the remainder within the larger community. Figure 8 below shows the distribution between workplace and non-workplace incidents over the past ten years.

Gas Report 2013-14 Fig 8
Gas Report 2013-14 Fig 8, by ggodsman

Figure 8

Gas utilisation incidents – Workplace and non-workplace

Figure 8A shows the percentage distribution of workplace and non-workplace incidents.

Gas Report 2013-14 Fig 8a
Gas Report 2013-14 Fig 8a, by ggodsman

Figure 8A

Gas utilisation incidents – Workplace and non-workplace

Figure 9 below is a classification of incidents according to broad categories of workers and the general public. Gas workers were involved in 9% of the incidents.

Gas Report 2013-14 Fig 9
Gas Report 2013-14 Fig 9, by ggodsman

Figure 9

Gas utilisation incidents – Workers versus general public

Gas utilisation incidents – by type of gas

Natural gas, LPG (Propane), LPG (Butane) and auto gas are the main types of gas utilised in Western Australia.

Figure 10 below provides a graphical view of incidents in relation to the type of gas. 52% of incidents involved NG, followed by LPG (Propane) at 46%.

Gas Report 2013-14 Fig 10
Gas Report 2013-14 Fig 10, by ggodsman

Figure 10

Gas utilisation incidents – Type of gas

The percentage of incidents involving butane and auto gas is low compared to NG and LPG (propane). There have been 6 incidents involving butane and 7 incidents related to auto gas over the ten year period.
Figure 11 and figure 12 are a classification of the type of incidents reported to EnergySafety segregated by the type of gas. This breakdown of incident types has not altered by a significant margin over the ten year reporting period. Charts have not been prepared for butane and autogas due to the low number of incidents in those categories.

Gas Report 2013-14 Fig 11
Gas Report 2013-14 Fig 11, by ggodsman

Figure 11

Gas utilisation incidents – Type of incidents resulting from NG

Gas Report 2013-14 Fig 12
Gas Report 2013-14 Fig 12, by ggodsman

Figure 12

Gas utilisation incidents – Type of incidents resulting from LPG

An analysis of incidents by equipment type has revealed that there is a wide range of apparatus involved in gas utilisation incidents as shown in Figure 13 below.

Gas Report 2013-14 Fig 13
Gas Report 2013-14 Fig 13, by ggodsman

Figure 13

Gas utilisation incidents – Equipment type

The most common types of equipment found in utilisation incidents are water heaters (hot water systems) accounting for 26% of the incidents. This was followed by LPG (storage) cylinders at 14% and recreational equipment (which includes gas barbeques) at 13%.

Gas cookers (including stoves and hot plates) are also an area of interest at 11%.

A study of the incidents involving water heaters revealed that most of the incidents occurred while lighting the pilot light. 38% of incidents involving water heaters resulted from component failure and 28% from lack of maintenance.

Component failure was also found to be the cause in 41% of LPG storage incidents and in 62% of incidents involving recreational equipment like barbeques.
Figure 14 is an analysis of all gas utilisation incidents from 2004/05 to 2013/14 and indicates that 0.5% have resulted in fatalities, 11.4% in serious injury requiring hospitalisation, 15.7% resulting in minor injuries and 72.5% did not result in any injury.

Gas Report 2013-14 Fig 14
Gas Report 2013-14 Fig 14, by ggodsman

Figure 14

Gas utilisation incidents – Incidents resulting in fatality, injury and hospitalisation

The same data set has been analysed in terms of damage to property, with an almost even split between incidents resulting in some kind of property damage and those with no impact to property.

Gas Report 2013-14 Fig 14a
Gas Report 2013-14 Fig 14a, by ggodsman

Figure 14a

Gas utilisation incidents – Incidents resulting in property damage