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Changes to the New 2016 Emergency Response Guidebook

Posted on September 12, 2016 at 12:20 AM Comments comments (0)

If you’re a first responder, or involved with Hazardous Materials in any way, you should be familiar with the Emergency Response Guidebook (also known as the ERG or Orange Book). The 2016 edition was released this year with some significant from the previous 2012 version. The current changes are:

-The addition of a flow chart the describes “How to use the Guidebook”

-A area has been included for local emergency response numbers to be written in.

-A section has been added for the Global Harmonization System (GHS) of classification and labeling of chemicals.

-Addition of all new dangerous goods listed in the UN Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods up to the 19th revised edition.

-In the table of initial isolation and protective action distances (Green Pages) there is the addition to table 3 of “Estimating wind speed from environmental clues”.

These changes definitely improve the ERG and make initial responses actions safer. I highly recommend any user of this manual pick up the latest copy and flip through it for familiarization or review.

 

Potential Inclusion of CGA C-1 into 49 CFR

Posted on September 8, 2016 at 11:50 PM Comments comments (0)

If you are a facility that hydrotests compressed gas cylinders, you need to read this. The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), is proposing to amend CFR Title49, section 180. This is the section that pertains to cylinder re-qualification.

A petition from the Compressed Gas Association (CGA) and others to incorporate the Pamphlet C-1 into the regulations is being considered and recommended by the PHMSA. If this happens, this regulatory change will adversely effect the safety of this industry and add an unnecessary monetary burden to all DOT licensed facilities.

What Does The Inclusion of The C-1 Pamphlet Mean To DOT Licensed Cylinder Re-Qualifiers ???

 

At a Minimum:

• New expansion indicating (EID) components

• Additional pressure gauges (PID)

• Additional calibrated cylinders

• New test record forms or software

• Training to understand these new regs.

• Mobile re-test facilities ( fire extinguisher mobile shop) will be limited to a 100 mile radius.

WHAT EVERY DOT RE-TEST FACILITY NEEDS TO DO !!!

• Comments close on September 26th, 2016.

• All cylinder retest facilities need to read the Proposed Regulations.

• Please Make Comments - This Is Your Business !!

• Whether you agree with PHMSA or not, you need to make your opinion known. See Federal Register, Page 48978 for how and where to make comments.

• This is Your Business - Do Not Let Proposed Regulations Get Passed Without Your Input.

 

A link to the Federal Register is: http://www.hydro-test.com/Federal%20Register%202016-16689%20[1].pdf

A link to a good summary by Hydrotest Products can be found here: http://www.hydro-test.com/Comments%20Docket%20No.%20PHMSA-2011-0141.pdf

 

Possibile Scuba Cylinder Rupture in Australia this week

Posted on August 25, 2016 at 4:30 PM Comments comments (0)

As some people may have heard, there is the report of the rupture of a recreational SCUBA cylinder in Sidney, Australia this week. Preliminary reports are that the cylinder was being filled at a recreational dive shop, and one individual was injured. Contrary to the assumptions and speculations that are circulating on online forums, as of now, no official report or findings have been published in reference to the type of cylinder, and cause of the rupture. If the reports of the injury are factual, our hearts go out to the individual who was injured and wish him/her a speedy recovery. More information will be posted as it comes available.

New SCBA Valve Removal Tool

Posted on March 9, 2016 at 4:45 PM Comments comments (0)

American Cylinder and Safety is proud to announce that we are now carrying and selling the new PSI-PCI, Inc SCBA Valve Removal tool. This tool allows the removal and insertion of SCBA Valves to the proper torque. Manufactured from aircraft grade aluminum, this tool fully encloses the SCBA vale to protect the gauge. Metal ridges milled into the tool ensure you only have metal to metal contact. As one knows, an SCBA Valve sells new for an average price of over $300 each so this tool is necessary for proper maintenance. This tool works on Scott, Drager, ISI, and other valves.   Professional Maintenance requires the proper tools. Available now in our online store.

The Hazards of Falsely Certifying Compressed Gas Cylinders

Posted on January 16, 2016 at 6:10 PM Comments comments (0)

When an owner drops off a cylinder to be re-qualified, they expect that the hydrotester will not cut corners. After all, when a cylinder ruptures, 90% of the time, it’s during the filling process and usually it is the owner filling it. They expect the test to be accurate because it is their own safety on the line. But what happens if the hydrotester they take the cylinder to cuts corners during the test. Or even worse, what if the tester stamps the tank and falsifies the records without even testing the tank? Well..the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) takes a dim view of this. The fines can be pretty steep if the hydrotester is found in violation. Take for example what happened in California this last fall. On October 29, 2015, Danniel Allen Hoose, of Redding, California, was sentenced in U.S. District Court, Sacramento, California, related to falsely certifying oxygen cylinders for aircraft. He was sentenced to 36 months' probation and ordered to pay a fine of $3,000. He pleaded guilty in July 2015 to one count of falsely certifying more than 570 oxygen cylinders for re-use, including re-use in aircraft. In the spring of 2013, Hoose represented that he performed hydrostatic testing on a special permit oxygen cylinder installed in an aircraft. But, no such testing was done. The investigation determined that Hoose's re-qualification equipment was in disrepair so he was unable to properly test the cylinders in accordance with Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) regulations. Hoose falsified the cylinder hydrostatic testing certifications and returned the cylinders to their owners for use.

New Ed. of NFPA 53 Published

Posted on December 22, 2015 at 10:00 AM Comments comments (0)

The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) has released the most current (2016) version of NFPA53: Recommended Practice on Materials, Equipment, and Systems Used in Oxygen-Enriched Atmospheres.  American Cylinder and Safety, LLC is proud of this release since American Cylinder and Safety, LLC sits on the technical committee that is responsibile for oversight, review, and revision of these standards.


NFPA 53 combines new requirements and real-world experience to advance safety in Oxygen-Enriched Atmospheres (OEAs).

Developed by experts, NFPA 53: Recommended Practice on Materials, Equipment, and Systems Used in Oxygen-Enriched Atmospheres is your single source for the latest criteria for the safe use of oxygen (liquid/gaseous) and the design of systems for use in oxygen and oxygen-enriched atmospheres. Information is provided for the selection of materials, components, and design criteria that can be used safely in oxygen and OEAs.

Extensively used by designers, engineers, and facility managers in health care, industrial, and fire service fields, NFPA 53 applies to:

  • Gas and compressed air supplies
  • Medical applications, including home oxygen systems
  • Spaceflight operations
  • Industrial processes
  • Welding applications
  • Self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA)
  • Self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (SCUBA)
  • Underwater tunneling and caisson work
  • Commercial and military aviation

Improvements make it easier to select materials and components, and offer important lessons learned:

  • Expanded Table F.3.3.8 now includes heat of combustion and autoignition temperature data, in addition to oxygen index data, that can be used to determine the suitability of a longer list of nonmetallic materials for oxygen service.
  • Must-read new Fire Experience reports in Annex D share vital examples of fire and explosion incidents, based on recent field experience and incident reviews.

As information about safety in OEAs continues to progress, make sure you stay up-to-date and informed. Save time while you protect lives with the 2016 edition of NFPA 53.  (Softbound, 60 pp., 2016)

 

New GHS/HAZCOM Enforcement Guidence

Posted on August 21, 2015 at 5:35 PM Comments comments (0)

As you should be aware by now, the USA is transitioning over to the new Global Harmonization System/Hazardous Communication Standard. (GHS/HAZCOM) This new standard is designed to bring the US onto the same system used by other members of the UN and global community.  It includes new standards on Safety Data Sheets, labels, and placards/symbols.  The changeover period is a 4 year transition starting in December 2012.  Unfortunitly, durring this transition period, there has been some questions on what standards OSHA will inforce durring an inspection.  In june this year, OSHA finnally clarified this by issuing a new directive for the enforcement of the new GHS standard. To summarize, during the transition period to the new 2012 GHS standard, the goal is to establish consistent policies and procedures to ensure uniform enforcement of the hazard communication standard. It also provides inspectors with a detailed review of the areas they will be inspecting, including revised hazard classification of chemicals, standardizing label elements for containers of hazardous chemicals, and specifying the format and required content for safety data sheets, and how chemical users should manage their MSDS/SDS library. MOST IMPORTANTLY, it states that inspectors can use both the old standard, and the new standard to issue violations.  If you need a copy of this directive, email me at [email protected]

Storing Compressed Gas Cylinders in the Workplace

Posted on June 12, 2015 at 9:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Do you store compressed gas cylinders in your workplace? The odds are, you probably do. Compressed gasses are used in industries ranging from aviation to beverages, to welding. Hundreds of different materials are packaged in compressed gas cylinders to include atmospheric gases, fuel gases, refrigerant gases, poison gasses, and gasses used for industrial use. In most cases, no matter what the material stored, the standards for safety remain the same. The hazards associated with these gases can include oxygen displacement, explosion and flammability hazards, toxicicity and the physical hazards of a ruptured cylinder.

When it comes to workplace safety with compressed gasses, you can find the requirements in 29 CFR 1910.101. One of the easiest, yet most often ignored safety measures is the visual inspection of cylinders. Per 29 CFR 1910.101(a) employers must inspect the cylinders to ensure that they are in a "safe condition".

Visual and other inspections must be conducted as described in the Department of Transportation (DOT) hazardous materials regulations (49 CFR 171 - 179). Cylinders are required to be inspected at time of hydrostatic requalification. In addition, may manufacturers recommend at least an annual visual inspection in addition, or depending on the use, a visual inspection at even shorter time intervals.

Where the DOT regulations are not applicable, visual and other inspections must be conducted as prescribed in the Compressed Gas Association's C-6 standards for visual inspection of steel compressed gas cylinders, C-6.1 for visual inspection of aluminum compressed gas cylinders, C-6.2 for visual inspection of fiber reinforced compressed gas cylinder, and C-8 standard for requalification of DOT-3HT, CTC-3HT and TC-3HTM seamless steel cylinders pamphlets.

It is recommended that employees receive visual inspection training from a recognized training agency such as Professional Scuba Inspectors- Professional Cylinder Inspectors, INC (PSI-PCI).

Gas cylinder storage and handling also has its own set of guidelines and regulations. Per 29 CFR 1910.101(b), the facility handling, storage and utilization of all compressed gas cylinders must be in accordance with CGA Pamphlet P-1 Safe Handling of Compressed Gas Cylinders.

When being stored, gas cylinders should be properly secured at all times to prevent tipping, falling or rolling. They can be secured with straps or chains connected to a wall bracket or other fixed surface, or by use of a stand or cylinder cage. In addition, if the cylinders hold pure oxygen or flammable gas, they must be mechanically grounded in order to prevent ignition.

Additionally, the gas cylinders should be stored in a cool, dry, well-ventilated, fire-resistant area that meets all applicable federal, state and local regulations. It is also recommended that the appropriate NFPA 702 diamond be posted in order to assist first responders in the event of a fire.

When a gas cylinder is empty or not being used, ensure that the valve is closed, the regulator removed and that the valve protector cap is secured in place. Cylinders that are out of hydro or are empty should be properly labeled/placarded, and segregated from those in use.

When transporting cylinders you should us hand trucks designed for that purpose. Don’t roll them in order to prevent damage. When transporting by vehicle, cylinders should be secured so that they do not tip, fall, roll, or potentially fall from the vehicle Please check with your state to determine the requirements for placarding and labeling the vehicle when transporting.

Appropriate lifting devices, such as cradles or nets must be used when using a crane, hoist or derrick to transport gas cylinders. Do not use magnets or slings to lift gas cylinders. Do not use the valve protection cap for lifting a gas cylinder.

It is necessary to take precautions so that gas cylinders are not dropped or allowed to strike each other or other objects. Dropping or striking may damage the gas cylinder valve, which could turn the gas cylinder into a dangerous torpedo with the potential to destroy property and/or injure and kill personnel.

Consult the appropriate safety data sheet (SDS) and cylinder label for detailed information on the chemical contained in the gas cylinder. Specific chemical handling and storage precautions will be outlined in the SDS. The SDS will also have specifications for appropriate personal protective equipment for worker protection. Remember, while cylinders all have the same physical hazards associated with them, the material inside might have additional hazards that you must be aware of.

Cylinder Hydrostatic Testing Overview

Posted on June 7, 2015 at 3:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Hydrostatic Requalification (also known as a hydrotest) is the most common way to check a cylinder for leaks or flaws. During a hydrostatic requalification test, the cylinder is examined to ensure it can safely hold its rated pressure. Cylinder hydrostatic requalification is crucial as such containers can rupture if they lose structural integrity when containing compressed gas.

A hydrostatic requalification consists of filling the cylinder with a nearly incompressible liquid, in most cases, this is water, pressurizing the cylinder, and examining it for leaks or permanent changes in shape. The test pressure is always considerably more than the operating pressure to give a margin for safety. Typically, either 5/3’s or 3/2’s of the cylinders rated pressure is used. Most compressed gas cylinders require periodic hydrostatic requalification as required by 49 CFR 180.205. The frequency of the testing depends upon the cylinder material.

• Steel cylinders should be tested every five years and have an indefinite service life until they fail a hydrotest and visual inspection

• Aluminum cylinders (not including hoop-wrapped composite cylinders i.e. FRP-2) should be tested every five years and have an indefinite service life until they fail a hydrotest and visual inspection

• Hoop-wrapped cylinders should be tested every three years and have a 15-year service life.

• Fully wrapped fiberglass, Kevlar, and Amarid cylinders should be tested either every three years or every five years and have a 15-year service life. Refer to the Special Permit/Exemption for required requalification intervals.

• Fully wrapped carbon fiber cylinders should be tested every five years and have a 15, 20 or 30-year service life. Refer to the Special Permit/Exemption for required requalification intervals and service life

Cylinders should not be filled if they have exceeded their valid service life or re-test dates. Cylinders which show evidence of exposure to high heat or flames (paint turned to a brown or black color, decals missing or gauge lens melted) need to be removed from service and requalified prior to filling. If there is any doubt about the suitability of the cylinder for filling, it should be returned to a certified hydrostatic test facility for examination and retesting. Any evidence of a crack, defect or damage requires the cylinder to be removed from service.

Visual inspections should also be performed on a regular basis as recommended by the Department of Transportation (DOT), the Compressed Gas Association (CGA) and the cylinder manufacturers. The visual inspection should include, but is not limited to, removing the cylinder valve, inserting a high-intensity light probe and angled mirror into the cylinder and examining the inner surfaces of the cylinder. This inspection is necessary to aide in identifying defects in the inner surfaces of the neck, threads, shoulder area, sidewalls, and base of the cylinder. An excellent Inspection training class is taught by Professional Scuba Inspectors-Professional Cylinder Inspectors INC (PSI-PCI).

In addition to the mandatory cylinder hydrostatic requalification and visual inspections, it is also suggested to submit cylinders for non-destructive testing in between the required hydrostatic testing. These types of tests are usually ultrasonic tests or eddy current tests. For those cylinders manufactured from 6351-T6 Aluminum Alloy, a eddy current test is required at time of hydrostatic requalification.

The DOT requires that hydrostatic retesting and re-qualification be conducted by registered agents who have been certified by the DOT and who have been issued a valid Re-testers Identification Number (RIN). The recommended visual inspections outside of those conducted during the hydrotest, do not have to be conducted by a DOT-certified RIN holder. However, the visual inspection should be performed by an individual who has the proper training and is competent in performing visual inspections.

 

Methods of Requalifying Compressed Gas Cylinders

Posted on February 25, 2015 at 10:05 AM Comments comments (0)

 

In the cylinder industry, one hears all the time about the need to requalify cylinders on a periodic basis. Unfortunately, many people are unfamiliar with the processes to requalify a cylinder. By knowing what type of test your cylinder needs to receive, you can determine the retesting interval by consulting 49 CFR. Before requalifying a cylinder, remember, all retesters shall have a Retesters Identification Number (RIN) issued by the D.O.T. in the USA and in Canada test facilities are registered with T.C. The five methods to requalify a cylinder are:

 

WATER JACKET TEST METHOD

This method is applicable to all hydrostatic tests where determination of volumetric expansions are required. It consists of enclosing a cylinder filled with water inside a test jacket filled with water. Pressure is then applied internally to the cylinder, causing the cylinder to expand. The total and permanent volumetric expansions of the cylinder are determined by measuring the amount of water displaced by the expansion of the cylinder when under pressure and after the pressure has been released. This is the only testing method that will re qualify a cylinder for charging to 10% in excess of the marked service pressure. This 10% in excess is then marked with a “+” mark.


DIRECT EXPANSION TEST METHOD

This method is applicable to hydrostatic tests when volumetric expansion determinations are required. It consists of forcing a measurable volume of water into a cylinder filled with a known weight of water at a known temperature, and measuring the volume of water expelled from the cylinder when the pressure is released. The permanent volumetric expansion of the cylinder is calculated by subtracting the net volume of water expelled from the cylinder from the volume of water forced into the cylinder. The total volumetric expansion of the cylinder is calculated by subtracting from the total volume of water forced into the cylinder (in attaining test pressure), the volume of water due to compressibility and volumetric expansion of the test apparatus. Regulations do not permit this testing method to be used to qualify a cylinder for charging to 10% in excess of marked service pressure.


PROOF TEST METHOD

This method is permitted where the regulations do not require the determination of total and permanent expansion. It consist of examining a cylinder under pressure for leaks, bulges and any visible defects. Certain specification containers, used exclusively in noncorrosive service, may be retested by this method. This is the primary method for requalifying fire extinguishers.


VISUAL INSPECTION METHOD

This method is permitted where the regulations do not require a hydrostatic test of any kind. An example of a cylinder that is allowed to be visual inspected in place of a hydrostatic test is a propane cylinder.


ULTRASONIC TESTING METHOD

This test method can be used only under an exemption permit for certain specification cylinders. These specification cylinders are re qualified by an ultrasonic measuring device, which is capable of detecting flaws and irregularities in cylinders.

 


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