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The Hazards of Falsely Certifying Compressed Gas Cylinders

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.

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