Acetylene Oxygen Cutting Torch: OSHA Says Oxyfuel Safety Is Part Of Welding Safety

Two horror stories about the safety of Oxyfuel, and one of them could have been a tragedy.

Story # 1

A worker was returning from a lunch break and preparing to complete his task of cutting a truck U-joint with an oxygen-acetylene torch.

He opened the acetylene valve and then proceeded to open the valve on the oxygen tank. The oxygen regulator exploded and then saturated his shirt with oxygen. His shirt caught fire and burned severely across his torso. It was determined that the cause of the accident was Regulator Burnout or RBO caused by the worker not bleeding pressures when he went to lunch.

Story # 2

A worker was preparing for the July 4 festivities by filling latex gloves with a mixture of oxygen and acetylene. His plan was to be the hit of the neighborhood by lighting these latex glove bombs later that night. While carrying an arm full of explosive latex balloons, a static spark from the rubbing latex made them all explode. A burned chest, some permanent hearing loss, and sloughing kidney stones that I wasn’t even aware of were the price for the stupidity of that day. If they had ignited in the trunk of your Camaro, which is where you planned to put them, you probably wouldn’t have survived.

Oxyfuel equipment is dangerous.

The story n. 1 is understandable but totally preventable by using known oxy-fuel safety principles

Story # 2 is natural selection in action. There are no excuses. And yet sometimes I watch YouTube videos of people filling balloons with oxygen and acetylene and think to myself, “Shit, everyone’s going to die!”

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