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OVER PRESSURE SAFETY AWARENESS


CONTRIBUTING RE.ENGINEER

Ed Hendricks


CHALLENGE

Safety awareness from a personal experience:

In my career of over 42 years industrial experience, I’ve only witnessed once, the built in over-pressure safety relief mechanism on a high pressure gas cylinder serve its purpose. I was working temporarily at a refinery in Toledo, OH. My time there extended to over three years. In the early spring of one year, the afternoon temperature had barely risen above freezing. I was passing by the gas cylinder storage racks that afternoon; the sun was beaming down on the cylinders. Evidently, the internal temperature caused the gas pressure to rise above the relief mechanism pressure point.


SOLUTION

The ensuing gas release certainly caught my attention. It took several minutes to fully vent the cylinder contents. I waited from a safe distance before getting close enough to identify what had happened. Side note: it was a pure oxygen cylinder.


RESULT

Could have been much worse than it was. It made me remember a time or two in my career, connecting a new cylinder, only to find the cylinder empty. Maybe the same thing had happened, with no one to witness the release. (Side Note: In case you’ve never paid attention, the relief mechanism is the protrusion on the left side of the valve body in the photo.)  



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