How to Avoid Compressed Gas Accidents

Compressed gas accidents are particularly serious in nature. Not only are these accidents usually preventable, but many people fail to take into consideration the great danger posed by compressed gas accidents. Experienced construction industry workers are well aware of the significant danger presented by pressurized gas cylinders. These accidents are so common that the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 20 deaths and 6,000 injuries occur due to compressed gas accidents each year. This article will review some safety precautions that all individuals should take when working near compressed gas.

Recognize How Compressed Gas Accidents Occur

There are a variety of ways in which workers and people in the proximity of compressed gas can be harmed. Some of these situations involve:

  • Asphyxiation – Sometimes, compressed gas escapes its container, which can happen suddenly and quickly turn overwhelming.
  • Chemical Burns – In many cases, compressed gas is corrosive and can result in substantial skin damage.
  • Explosions and Fires – Compressed gas can be ignited by contact with a flame or spark of electricity.
  • High-Pressure Accidents – Various injuries can be caused by the substantial amount of pressure that builds up inside a container and can cause objects to be released with great pressure.

Know What Gases can be Deadly

There are several types of compressed gases that can cause accidents that lead to very serious injuries. Some of these gases include:

  • Acetylene
  • Argon
  • Butane
  • Ethylene
  • Helium
  • Hydrogen
  • Methylamine
  • Nitrogen
  • Oxygen
  • Vinyl chloride

Always Wear Proper Safety Gear

Workers must make sure to always wear the appropriate protective clothing when working around compressed gas. This clothing at a minimum should include safety glasses to protect against projectile accidents, gloves to protect a person from potential burns, and hard-toed shoes to protect against objects that might fall on a person’s foot. In many cases, it is also a good idea for workers to wear masks to protect against any chemical leaks that might come from the compressed gas container.

Properly Store Compressed Gas

Compressed gas containers must always be stored in a fire-resistant, well ventilated area that is both cool and dry. These conditions greatly reduce the risk that the container will explode and seriously harm or kill individuals. Also, a fire extinguisher should be kept in the proximity of this container in case an accident or unexpected event occurs. Workers should also create an emergency response plan in case a fire occurs.

Handle the Compressed Gas Container Correctly

There are several important steps that workers should take when handling compressed gas. Wherever the gas container is placed, it must be properly secured. A gas cylinder should also never be heated, which greatly increases the chances that an explosion will occur. Workers should also always inspect compressed gas containers for any signs of corrosion or dents that suggest the container might be unsafe.

Speak to a New Jersey Injury Attorney

These pieces of advice are just some of the most important steps that a worker should take when working with compressed gas. Even if all of these pieces of advice are followed, compressed gas accidents are still known to occur. Contact a knowledgeable lawyer at Ferrara & Gable if you or a loved one is harmed in a compressed gas accident.