Acetylene and Oxygen Cutting Torch – OSHA Says Oxyfuel Safety is Part of Welding Safety

Two Oxyfuel Safety Horror Stories – 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 turned on the Acetylene valve and then proceeded to open the valve on the oxygen tank. The oxygen regulator exploded which then saturated his shirt with oxygen. His shirt ignited and burn him severely on his torso. The cause of the accident was determined to be Regulator Burnout or RBO caused by the worker not bleeding down the pressures when he left for lunch.

Story #2

A worker was preparing for July 4th festivities by filling latex gloves with an oxygen and acetylene mixture. His plan was to be the hit of the neighborhood by lighting these latex glove bombs later that night. As he was carrying an armload of the explosive latex balloons, a static spark from the latex rubbing together made them all explode. A burned chest, some permanent hearing loss, and dislodged kidney stones that he wasn’t even aware of were the price for stupidity that day. Had they ignited in the trunk of his Camaro, which is where he planned to put them, he would probably not have survived.

Oxyfuel equipment is dangerous.

Story #1 is understandable but entirely preventable by using known oxyfuel safety principles

Story #2 is natural selection at work. There is no excuse . And yet I sometimes see YouTube videos of people filling balloons with oxygen and acetylene and I think to myself “Holy Crap, they are all going to Die!”