Failing to follow basic cylinder handling procedures caused loss of life, damage and a large court fine. Uncapped cylinders fell over, causing a cascade effect.
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In the United States, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), regulates and investigates workplace safety. Most countries have their equivalent of OSHA which works in a similar manner. OSHA may conduct random checks, follow up on registered complaints or investigate accidents involving the safety of workers.
A 737 aircraft landed at an airport near the Caspian Sea. 142 passengers had departed along with the 5 crew members. The crew reported that the cabin oxygen pressure was at 900 psi. The ground crew was attempting to trans fill the oxygen from an 1800 PSI oxygen source. It is reported that the ground crew tested the equipment to assure the supply gas was at 1800 psi.
When dealing with high-pressure gases, cylinder technicians need to be aware of the numerous hazards: Corrosion, falling cylinders dislodging valves, burst discs rupturing, and decibel levels of escaping gases. The technician, or anyone handling a high-pressure cylinder, needs to be aware of the cylinder and its surroundings during use.
Ships and buildings are outfitted with inert gas fire suppression systems. In the event of a fire, the cylinder valves activate, filling a room or compartment with inert gas, displacing the oxygen. Since fire requires oxygen to continue combustion, removing the oxygen from the room or compartment stops the fire.
This specific incident involved two employees moving a 600 psi (41 bar) Halon (fire suppression) cylinder to be weighed. Not knowing the exact specifications of this 4BW cylinder or capacity it is within the range of 48” (1.2m) tall and around 200 lbs (90 kilos).