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April 24th, 2009

Welding Burn Victims

I saw these photographs from Marine Safety Forum Safety Flash on Bob Couttie’s web site and wanted to blog about the issues related to the burn.

According to the article, “the victim had been welding and got oil on his hands. He reached up to adjust the flow from the oxygen cylindre. There was a leak at the hose clamp and that is all it took. Oxygen under pressure, grease and oils don’t get along, or, rather, get along too well and the results speak for themselves.”

Oxygen under pressure and hydrocarbons (oil and grease) can react violently, resulting in explosions, fire and injury to personnel and damage to property.

Most welding operations use fuel gases, which can be a serious hazard in case of fire or explosion.

  • Always double-check the availability of an MSDS before using any cylinder gas. Don’t assume that it must be oxygen because that’s where the oxygen is supposed to be!
  • Release the pressure from regulators and hose lines before the cylinders are moved or placed in storage. When the work is done, close the cylinder valves and put the valve protection caps on.
  • When you move cylinders, keep them upright with their caps securely on. Always use cylinder carts, and proper lifting procedures and equipment.
  • Use cylinders in the order received from the supplier. When a cylinder runs out, close the valve, detach the regulator, put the valve protection cap back on and mark the cylinder to show it’s empty.
  • Store full and empty cylinders of each type of gas separately. Never store cylinders of oxygen close to acetylene cylinders.
  • Store cylinders securely where they will not be knocked over or damaged. Never store them near radiators or any other heat source, or allow them to touch electric wires.

I have successfully represented numerous burn victims and am available for free consultations on any and all burn cases.  Ask for Matt Shaffer.

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