- Explosions occur in mechanical construction each year. However, they can be prevented by keeping ignition sources away from explosive substances.
- You don’t have a lot of exposure to explosives in mechanical construction but you do have exposure to a number of flammable substances including gasoline, benzene cleaning solvents, propane, butane, and acetylene. Any of these substances mixed with the right amount of oxygen and an ignition source can explode.
- Remember that oxygen by itself is not flammable or combustible but it does rapidly accelerate the rate of burning. Keep oxygen from releasing into the air around you by keeping oxygen cylinder valves shut off when not in use.
- In confined spaces the release of flammable liquid vapors or gases and the right amount of regular breathing air can be hazardous. If the mixture is just right and there is an ignition source, an explosion will occur.
- Keep all flammable substances away from ignition sources and sources of oxygen. And keep only small quantities of flammable liquids on hand. Store them in approved containers.
- Keep oxygen and acetylene cylinders separate when they are not being used. Store them at least 20 feet apart or keep a 5 foot high ½ -hour rated noncombustible barrier between them.
- Make sure the valves on fuel gas cylinders are closed tightly when you finish working with them. Also inspect the valves and pressure gauges for leaks before and after you use the cylinders. If there is a leak, warn others to keep the ignition sources away from the cylinder and report it to your Supervisor immediately.
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