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Incident involving oxy-acetylene cutting

One of our members has informed us of recent incident which occurred during the assembly of oxy-acetylene cutting equipment. An internal explosion occurred and injured a Dive Tender, fortunately not seriously.

The review of the incident revealed the following:

  • Oil or grease contamination in the presence of oxygen probably caused the explosion;
  • A dangerous ‘home made’ manifold of unknown origin had been used;
  • Flashback arrestors were not fitted to the system;
  • Regulators had been removed from the cylinders;
  • The oxygen and acetylene cylinders had not been suitably segregated.

The company involved as proposed the following actions:

  • All hoses and fittings to be thoroughly checked free of oil/grease contaminants;
  • Only use correct approved fittings and hoses in any pressurised gas system;
  • Flashback arrestors must be fitted in the system;
  • Regulators must not be removed from the cylinders;
  • Oxygen and acetylene gas cylinders must be suitably segregated.

The company has also advised its staff to inspect all oxygen and acetylene cutting gear and ensure correct fixtures and fittings in use.

IMCA Safety Flashes summarise key safety matters and incidents, allowing lessons to be more easily learnt for the benefit of all. The effectiveness of the IMCA Safety Flash system depends on Members sharing information and so avoiding repeat incidents. Please consider adding [email protected] to your internal distribution list for safety alerts or manually submitting information on incidents you consider may be relevant. All information is anonymised or sanitised, as appropriate.

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IMCA makes every effort to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the data contained in the documents it publishes, but IMCA shall not be liable for any guidance and/or recommendation and/or statement herein contained. The information contained in this document does not fulfil or replace any individual’s or Member's legal, regulatory or other duties or obligations in respect of their operations. Individuals and Members remain solely responsible for the safe, lawful and proper conduct of their operations.