HSE issues warning to beverage trade after man loses part of his leg in an explosion

- Last updated on GMT

The UK Health & Safety Executive (HSE) has issued a warning to firms filling and testing mixed gas cylinders for the beverages industry after a man lost part of his leg when a cylinder he had just finished filling exploded.

The incident (which took place in March 2010) was the first of its kind in seven years, said the HSE, which had hoped that safeguards put in place in 2002 to prevent the filling of ‘contaminated’ cylinders would prevent such tragedies.

Such explosions were typically caused by internal stress corrosion cracking of the cylinder wall caused by liquids that were not removed prior to the next pressurisation, it said.

Safeguards not adhered to

Random sampling of beverage gas cylinders conducted in the course of the investigation into the March incident had shown that safeguards put in place in 2002 had “not always been adhered to”,​ warned the HSE.

“This safety alert is issued as an urgent reminder to the beverage gas industry and cylinder inspection bodies of the dangers of allowing mixed gas cylinders to become contaminated internally, and the importance of continuing to properly maintain and inspect beverage gas cylinders in service.”

Cylinders that cannot be proven to be free of internal contamination should be closely examined internally, it added.

“This requires the safe removal of the cylinder valve which must be replaced using the correct tools and torque settings.”

Click here​ to read the warning in full.

Related topics: Drinks

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