It is not unusual to find cutting torches with oxygen and acetylene tanks in an industrial setting. These gasses are flammable, noxious and lethal in fatal doses. The following guidelines will protect workers from risks associated with working around Oxy-Acetylene:
Review your work area before starting work:
- Identify and discuss any compressed gasses in the area. Ensure all persons know how and where they are stored including bottles, lines valves and hoses.
- Ensure any bottles are stored and secured properly in an upright position.
- Never allow persons to vent dangerous gasses inside a building.
- Oxygen must be stored away from flammables, grease and oil products. All bottles to be labeled including empty ones.
Pre-Use Safety Checks
- Check regulators for damage before use.
- Ensure valves are shut off before installing on bottle.
- Inspect all hoses before use.
Safe Operation of Oxy-Acetylene torches
- Transport secured bottles with a hand truck
- Open valves and regulators slowly
- If bottle valves leak, take outdoors and slowly empty the bottle.
- Do not smoke near compressed gas bottles.
- Never rely on the color of a cylinder for identification.
- Always follow established safe trade practices including lighting and use of the cutting torch.
- Never attempt to repair a cylinder or valve.
- Shut the cylinder valves off when not in use.
- Never fully open cylinder valves.
- NEVER store acetylene on its side.
- Do not bleed cylinders below 25 psi.
- Never move a bottle with the valve open.
- Never store empty and full bottles together.
- Use safety glasses or a face shield when handling or connecting gas cylinders.
- Never drag or roll bottles.
- It is recommended to install a flashback arrestor with built-in check valve in both the oxygen and the acetylene hose lines. These safety devices should be tested frequently for leakage at the check valve and replaced after any violent flashback.