The Hazards of Shipping Containers

Title translated into English

The Hazards of Shipping Containers

Film: Duration in minutes

3:32 minutes


This video uses interviews and animations to review the potential risks of re-purposing shipping containers for storage or a workspace. A WorkSafeBC ergonomist from the Risk Analysis Unit and a supervisor from Prevention Field Services discuss the risks and recount past incidents where explosions have occurred in shipping containers. Photos and animations re-enact the incidents.  


Practice safe use of shipping containers in the workplace. Flammable or explosive materials stored in shipping containers may release vapours that can accumulate in the container, which poses a risk of fire and explosion. A risk assessment is needed whenever a new hazard is introduced into the container to make sure an oxygen deficient atmosphere or a combustible scenario isn't created.


Our risk analysis unit focuses on risk reduction in addition to the organization’s established response to injury prevention. A high risk hazard was identified after a shipping container explosion in 2015. A worker entered a shipping container after hours to retrieve oil for an oil change. On entering the poorly lit shipping container, the worker lit a lighter and an explosion occurred. We developed communications to increase awareness of the risk associated with explosive or flammable materials being stored in shipping containers.

Target Group

Transportation and warehousing industry, fire brigade, general industry with storage requirements

Contact details Editor / Production company

6951 Westminster Hwy, ca-V7C 1C6 Richmond