Saftey Precautions for Oxygen Plants Air Separation Plants
All personnel being employed for work in connection with oxygen/rich air should be cautioned concerning the hazards involved and precautions to be observed.
1. Thoroughly wash all oxygen fittings, valves and parts with clean Tricolor Ethylene / carbon tetra chloride (CTC) before installation. Never use petrol, kerosene or other hydrocarbon solvents for this purpose. All tubing, lines valves etc. to be used in oxygen service, must be of an approved type and must be thoroughly degreased and blown out with clean oil-free compressed air or Nitrogen before being placed in service.
2. Do not permit the release of Acetylene or other flammable gases in the vicinity of the plant air intake. A concentration of Acetylene exceeding 5 parts per million in liquid oxygen may explode with extreme violence. Strict supervision is essential to minimize the possibility of contamination.
3. The plant and the plant vicinity must be kept clean and free from abstractions at all times. Any oil leak within the plant surrounding must be rectified without delay. Oil spillage must be cleaned up immediately using rag and carbon Tetra Chloride.
4. Do not lubricate oxygen valves, regulators, gauges or fitting with oil or any other substance.
5. Ensure that insulation removed from the Air Separator jacket is not contaminated with oil or other inflammable materials. Personnel carrying out maintenance on the Air Separation Plant equipment must wear clean overalls and their hands and tools must be free of oil. This ensures that the insulation and equipment within the jacket is not contaminated with oil. Should contamination take place the affected materials must be discarded and replaced by clean new material?
6. Do not fasten electric conduits to the plant or its pipelines.
7. Do not use oxygen as a substitute for compressed air, spark present in an atmosphere of oxygen will immediately burst into flame.
8. Do not fill any container or pipe line with oxygen unless it has been thoroughly degreased with clean CTC or TCE.
9. When discharging liquid oxygen or rich liquid from drains, valves or pipe lines, open valves slowly to avoid the possibility of being splashed. In particular ensure that liquid does not run into shoes or gloves. Contact with liquid oxygen rich liquid will cause frostbite evidenced by whiteness and numbness of the skin. The affected parts must be batched at once in cold (not box) water and seek medical attention immediately.
10. Do not breathe cold oxygen vapor. The temperature of the vapor rising from liquid oxygen is approximately - 181 Deg C. A deep breath of vapor at this temperature can result in frost-bitten lungs with resultant serious illness and permanent disability or death.
11. Do not experiment with liquid oxygen by putting solids or liquids into it for the purpose of watching the effect of the cold liquid. The object placed in the oxygen may catch fire or explode.
12. Do not pour liquid oxygen on the floor of the shop or around any object that can catch fire. As the liquid oxygen vaporizes, the cold vapors may be swept along ground into contact with combustible material. The whole floor of an office is known to have caught fire when oxygen vapors contacted a lighted butt. Spillage of liquid oxygen must be avoided especially in the vicinity of lubricated machinery, asphalt paving, concrete surface containing bitumen joints or where the liquid oxygen can flow into drains or sewers.
13. Do not use any pipe jointing on oxygen pipe threads except approved for oxygen service. Ordinary pipe jointing contains grease as a lubricant and will catch fire.