Welding & Gases Today Examines Propane Accident

GAWDA DOT, Security, OSHA & EPA Consultant offers safety precautions.
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Oct. 17, 2011 - PRLog -- A recent lawsuit arose from the death of 59-year-old high school teacher Jim Albini, who was injured when propane leaking from a cylinder ignited. GAWDA’s DOT, Security, OSHA & EPA Consultant Michael Dodd outlines the events that led to the accident and appropriate safety precautions in “Propane Cylinder Fire.” His article appears in the Fall 2011 issue of Welding & Gases Today, the leading magazine for the gases and welding equipment industry.

Albini leased two 100-pound propane cylinders and drove home with the cylinders in the bed of his pickup truck. After he returned home, one of the cylinders began releasing propane and making a hissing noise. When Albini went to investigate the hissing sound, the propane cloud suddenly ignited, engulfing him and burning the skin off more than 80 percent of his body.

The lawsuit that arose from the incident alleged that the propane provider was responsible for overfilling the cylinders, failure to provide proper training to the employee who did the filling, failure to inspect the cylinders for certification and failure to prevent the customer from transporting the cylinders horizontally. The California company that sold the propane to Albini settled the wrongful death lawsuit for $4.5 million.

DOT regulations state the following: 49 CFR 173.301 (f) (2) After December 31, 2003, a pressure relief device, when installed, must be in communication with the vapor space of a cylinder containing a Division 2.1 (flammable gas) material. Says Dodd, “Very simply, we don’t lay down LPG cylinders unless they are designed to do so, i.e. forklift cylinders, but only when positioned so the safety is on the up side. That is the purpose of the indexing pin and hole on the forklift and the cylinder.”

To view Dodd’s recommendations regarding the incident, read “Propane Cylinder Fire” (http://www.weldingandgasestoday.org/index.php/2011/09/pro...) at Welding & Gases Today Online.  For more information, contact Devin O’Toole, content editor at Welding & Gases Today at devin@weldingandgasestoday.org or 315-445-2347.

Founded in 1945, the Gases and Welding Distributors Association (GAWDA) is the premier source for manufacturing knowledge, education and networking. Through its member journals (http://www.weldingandgasestoday.org), e-magazines, newsletters and industry wiki (http://www.gawdawiki.org), GAWDA connects suppliers of gases and manufacturers of related equipment as well as manufacturers of welding equipment and distribution leaders, for the purpose of safely delivering optimal solutions to the users of those products. GAWDA publications are the industry’s voice for all matters related to the latest technology and the most up-to-date processes spanning welding equipment and products and services related to industrial, medical, specialty and cryogenic gases. A 501(c)3 organization, GAWDA members are located throughout North America.
Source:Devin O'Toole
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