Coal tar, which is otherwise known as bitumen, is often used in construction projects. It’s a black, viscous material which can be melted down to create smooth surfaces which are then watertight and solid when dry. For this reason, bitumen is often used for roofs, paths, and roads.
What is a tar furnace?
A tar furnace is used to melt down bitumen so that it can be used in construction projects. Even if you don’t work in construction, you will probably already have seen a tar furnace when passing roads under construction. It looks like a large bucket which has steam coming out of it and releases that distinctive tar smell. Tar furnaces generate heat through a gas supply and they can be very dangerous for several different reasons, not least the fact that gas is extremely flammable and bitumen fumes can be toxic.
Safety tips for using a tar furnace
- Never attempt to use a tar furnace at work unless you have been properly trained and have adequate supervision
- Never work with a tar furnace while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Always wear protective clothing, gloves and footwear
- Never operate a tar furnace where there is the possibility of petrol or paint thinner fumes
- Keep all combustible materials at a safe distance
- Keep gas containers upright at all times
- Check the condition of the tar furnace for flaws thoroughly before use
- Never leave a burning tar furnace unattended
- Always leave the furnace to cool completely before handling it
- Never touch the gas canisters with your bare hands as liquid gas can cause ‘freeze burns’
- Never apply heat to a gas canister
What to do if you have been injured in an accident with a tar furnace
If you have been injured in an accident with a tar furnace through no fault of your own, you may be entitled to make a claim for personal injury compensation. If you have been injured at work, there is a high possibility that your injuries may be due to a lack of proper equipment, training, or supervision. This constitutes employer negligence, as your employer has a duty of care to keep you safe at work.
To find out more about employer negligence and personal injury compensation, call our expert advisors at Accident Advice Helpline. They’ll be able to answer any questions you may have and let you know how much compensation you could possibly receive.