Internal combustion engines as ignition sources

Investigations by the US-American Occupational Safety and Health Administration
(OSHA) and the U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) have documented a history of
fires and explosions at workplaces (oilfields, refineries, chemical plants, and
other facilities) where an internal combustion engine was identified as or
suspected to be the source of ignition. Internal combustion engines present an
ignition hazard when used in facilities processing flammable liquids and gases.
If flammable vapors or gases are released in these facilities, an internal
combustion engine could ignite the flammable materials with catastrophic

Internal combustion engines, whether fueled by gasoline, diesel, propane,
natural gas, or other fuels, can act as ignition sources. Examples include:

  • Stationary engines such as compressors, generators and pumps.

  • Mobile equipment or transports such as vans, trucks, forklifts, cranes, well servicing equipment, drilling rigs, excavators, portable generators and welding trucks.

  • Contractor vehicles and motorized equipment.

  • Emergency response vehicles such as fire engines and ambulances.

  • Vehicle-mounted engines on vacuum trucks, tanker trucks and waste haulers.

  • Small portable engines such as mowers, blowers, generators, compressors, welders and pumps. This includes hand tools unrelated to a process, such as chain saws, brought in by contractors.

More info - Source: Occupational Safety and Health Administration