Compressed Gases

Compressed Gas and Equipment
If you are injured by gas or an explosion contact a lawyer.

Many operations and construction projects require the use of compressed gases. Compressed gases present a unique hazard. Depending on the particular gas, there is a potential for simultaneous exposure to both mechanical and chemical hazards. Gases may be combustible, explosive, corrosive, poisonous, inert, or a combination of hazards. If the gas is flammable, flash points lower than room temperature compounded by high rates of diffusion present a danger of fire or explosion. Additional hazards of reactivity and toxicity of the gas, as well as asphyxiation, can be caused by high concentrations of even "harmless" gases such as nitrogen. Since the gases are contained in heavy, highly pressurized metal containers, the large amount of potential energy resulting from compression of the gas makes the cylinder a potential rocket or fragmentation bomb. Special storage, use, and handling precautions are necessary in order to control these hazards. Thousands of workers are injured each year due to failure to follow safe handling procedures and negligent acts.

Most gases are kept in Pressure Vessels. A pressure vessel is a storage tank or vessel that has been designed to operate at pressures above 15 p.s.i.g. There are often a considerable number of cracked and damaged vessels in workplaces. Cracked and damaged vessels can result in leakage or rupture failures. Potential health and safety hazards of leaking vessels include poisonings, suffocations, fires, and explosion hazards. Rupture failures can be much more catastrophic and can cause considerable damage to life and property. The safe design, installation, operation, and maintenance of pressure vessels in accordance with the appropriate codes and standards are essential to worker safety and health.

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