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Hazards and fires involving oxygen regulators.
NOIRS 2000--Abstracts of the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium 2000, Pittsburgh, PA, October 17-19, 2000. Pittsburgh, PA: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 2000 Oct; :21
Over the past 5 years, there have been over 16 reports of aluminum regulators used with oxygen cylinders burning or exploding. These incidents caused severe burns to over 11 emergency medical service providers, health care workers, and patients. Many of the incidents occurred during emergency medical use or during routine equipment checks. The NIOSH Fire Fighter Fatality Investigation and Prevention Program has investigated 3 incidents concerning fire fighters who had been severely burned by oxygen regulator fires. In the course of these investigations, NIOSH sought outside expertise in and outside the federal government, and learned of previous cases. Evidence suggests that aluminum in these regulators was a major factor in both the ignition and severity of the fires, although there were likely other contributing factors. Recommendations to minimize the occurrence of future incidents were made in reports summarizing these investigations. Additionally, NIOSH and the FDA jointly released a Public Health Advisory alerting fire departments, safety officers, biomedical engineers, nursing homes, emergency transportation services, rescue squads, state EMS systems, hospital administrators, home health care agencies, and risk managers of the hazards that may exist with aluminum regulators. NIOSH is currently involved in a project with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to develop a positive ignition test. The test is being developed and proposed to the American Society for Testing Materials as a possible standard, which would require that all regulators be tested before distribution to consumers. A training video is also being developed by the FDA and NIOSH concerning the hazards involved with oxygen systems. The video will demonstrate the safe handling of oxygen systems and will be disseminated to emergency medical service and health care providers.
Accident prevention; Injuries; Traumatic injuries; Injury prevention; Fire fighters; Fire prevention; Self contained breathing apparatus; Respiratory protective equipment; Emergency responders; Emergency equipment; Fire fighting equipment; Health care personnel; Health care facilities
NOIRS 2000 Abstracts of the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium 2000, Pittsburgh, PA., October 17-19, 2000
Page last reviewed: June 15, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division