Safety Focus of the Week: Working with Oxygen & Acetylene
Oxy-Fuel torch work is common on many of our jobsites.
Make sure you plan for the proper use, handling, storage, and transporting of Oxy-Fuel. OSHA has a Welding & Cutting section in the Construction Standards:
Here’s a few things to keep in mind:
- Fire Protection
- Never bring cylinders into a confined space
- Turn off valve when not in use.
- Remove regulator and cap when moving, unless in a welding cart.
- Transport vertically – secured and capped
- Never lift with a magnet or choker sling
- Tanks Vertical; Valves off; Regulators Removed & Capped
- Oxy at min 20-ft from fuel and other combustibles, unless protected by a firewall
- Away from sparks and open flame
- Locate where tanks would not be electrically energized
SPECIAL OSHA REQUIREMENT:
Use of fuel gas. The employer shall thoroughly instruct employees in the safe use of fuel gas, as follows:
Before a regulator to a cylinder valve is connected, the valve shall be opened slightly and closed immediately. (This action is generally termed “cracking” and is intended to clear the valve of dust or dirt that might otherwise enter the regulator.) The person cracking the valve shall stand to one side of the outlet, not in front of it. The valve of a fuel gas cylinder shall not be cracked where the gas would reach welding work, sparks, flame, or other possible sources of ignition.
The cylinder valve shall always be opened slowly to prevent damage to the regulator. For quick closing, valves on fuel gas cylinders shall not be opened more than 1 1/2 turns. When a special wrench is required, it shall be left in position on the stem of the valve while the cylinder is in use so that the fuel gas flow can be shut off quickly in case of an emergency. In the case of manifolded or coupled cylinders, at least one such wrench shall always be available for immediate use. Nothing shall be placed on top of a fuel gas cylinder, when in use, which may damage the safety device or interfere with the quick closing of the valve.