A member has reported a serious incident involving welding/burning gas cylinders. The cylinders, two oxygen and two acetylene had been transported on a vessel inside a container. They were neither adequately secured nor was the container labelled as containing dangerous goods.
During transit the cylinders which were loaded vertically, toppled onto the floor causing the cylinder cap protection to come off one of the acetylene cylinders, allowing its valve to open resulting in gas venting off inside the container. Fortunately no one was injured when the container door was opened.
The company has noted that the incident was a serious breach of international transportation of dangerous goods laws by transporting mixed gases in this manner, not labelling the container for dangerous goods and not passing the information to the transport company.
The company involved has issued guidelines to its personnel noting:
- Gas cylinders should be transported in accordance with SOLAS consolidated edition 1997, Chapter VII, Part A – Carriage of dangerous goods in packaged form or in solid form in bulk.
- All cylinders should be transported in racks or cages. Where containers are to be used, these should be identified as holding dangerous goods and should be transported along with the proper paperwork
- Additional checks should be introduced at all sites to ensure that mixed gases are never transported in the same rack or container.