OSHA 1926.350-Gas Welding & Cutting

During the late 1800s, gas welding and cutting was developed. The production of oxygen, the liquefying of air, along with the introduction in 1887 of a blow pipe or torch, helped the expansion of both welding and cutting. Before 1900, hydrogen and coal gas were mixed with oxygen; but, in about 1900, a torch appropriate for use with low-pressure acetylene was developed, and the oxyacety- lene gas welding and cutting processes were propelled. Today, OSHA provides their 1926.350 standard, which defines the safety requirements involved in such work.

Standard Requirements:
There are many requirements which may possibly  apply to your business; they can all be accessed on OSHA’s website.

A list of OSHA Training Requirements are as follows for 1926.350–Gas Welding and Cutting:

1. Before a regulator to a cylinder valve is connected, the valve shall be opened slightly and closed immediately. (This action is commonly termed “cracking” and is intended to clear the valve of dust or dirt that may otherwise move into the regulator.) The person cracking the valve must stand to one side of the outlet and not in front of it. The valve of a fuel gas cylinder can’t be cracked where the gas would spread welding work, sparks, flame or other possible causes of ignition.
2. The cylinder valve should be opened slowly to prevent impairment to the regulator. For quick closing, valves on fuel gas cylinders cannot be opened more than 1-1/2 turns.
3. Fuel gas shall not be used from cylinders through torches or other devices which are equipped with shutoff valves without dropping the pressure through a suitable regulator attached to the cylinder valve or manifold.
4. Before a regulator is detached from a cylinder valve, the cylinder valve should be closed and the gas freed from the regulator.
5. If the valve on a fuel gas cylinder is unlocked, and there’s a leak around the valve stem, the valve must be closed and the gland nut tightened. If this action does not stop the leak, the use of the cylinder should be stopped, then properly tagged and removed from the work area.
6. If a leak should develop at a fuse plug or other safety device, the cylinder shall be removed from the work area.

Additional Information:
Because of their volatility, extra safety precautions must be observed when using the combination of gases required for welding or cutting operations. It is important to remember not to handle compressed gas cylinders roughly, because the contents are under pressure. Moreover, compressed gas cylinders should be fastened securely with a chain or strap in an upright position to a wall or cart. Regulators should be removed and protective caps replaced before moving or transporting any compressed gas cylinder.

When using compressed gas:

  • Keep fire extinguishing equipment readily accessible near welding or cutting operations, if combustible materials are present.
  • Locate CGCs away from areas where they may be struck or subjected to physical damage. They must be a safe distance from arc welding, cutting operations or any other source of heat, sparks or flame.
  • Periodically check connections for leaks to prevent fires or explosions. Use a direct-reading instrument, or apply soapy water to connections and check for bubbles. Repair leaks immediately.
  • Use acetylene tanks only while in an upright position.
  • Open cylinder valves as required by the type of gas.

Why the Standard is Important:
The purpose of these requirements is to ensure the safe handling and use of compressed gas cylinders used for welding and cutting. They cover handling, use and storage as they apply to workers and supervisors. Compressed gas cylinders can have internal pressure of up to 2,500lbs per square inch. Mishandling such equipment could prove disastrous to workers and a facility. Dipping, tilting over or exposing a cylinder to heat can cause flaws or cracks in the cylinder’s shell, which can result in a shrapnel-laden explosion.

Many companies are already implementing these requirements in the products they offer. For example, part (a) (7) of 1926.350 clearly states that, “A suitable cylinder truck, chain or other steadying device shall be used to keep cylinders from being knocked over while in use.”

One such product, the BottleChock™ restraint by Glove Guard, restricts both vertical and horizontal movement and is a viable storage solution for cylinders, drums, piping or other cylindrical objects. Thus, it fully complies with OSHA’s 1926.350 standard.

Compliance Assistance:
There are many resources you can take advantage of as a supervisor or as a worker to learn more about OSHA’s 1926.350 Standard. J.J. Keller offers a Compressed Gas Cylinders-Online Training Course, https://bit.ly/2zOP5BR and the OSHA website provides their interpretation letters, which explain the requirements and how they apply to specific circumstances. https://bit.ly/2LfmZVf

A gas cylinder hitting the ground can be catastrophic, and yet all too often they are being “secured” by a loose chain. By restricting all movement, the BottleChock restraint takes an extra step in ensuring you are OSHA 1926-350 compliant by keeping your cylinders fully secured and the jobsite safer. – Melissa Slimp (QSSP), Glove Guard LP Glove Guard LP, 888-660-6133, www.gloveguard.com/bottlechock

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