Due to a variety of reasons, South Africa has instituted additional stamping requirements prior to cylinders being sent out for the first time. This does not suggest that unstamped cylinders are suddenly unsafe. This unique South African requirement applies to all cylinders, including cylinders already in circulation. We can help you locate approved filling and inspection companies. Also, if you are the owner of a DAN cylinder, bought prior to this legislation being introduced, and you are informed that your DAN cylinder is missing items of information not stamped onto the shoulder, please contact us and we will have this remedied at no cost to you . Ironically, even with this all in place there may still be some facilities that insist that the parallel threads in the cylinder are not acceptable. This is an internal policy of certain companies and cannot be undone or overcome by reasoning. Just remember that all aluminum SCUBA cylinders are also parallel-threaded and, in addition, they are typically pressurized to 200 Bar – not 150 Bar as oxygen cylinders are!
The OHS Act provides, amongst other things, for the protection of persons against hazards to health and safety arising out of or in connection with the activities of persons at work. The OHS Act provides that the Minister of Labour may issue certain Regulations which provide for the design, manufacture, use and maintenance of equipment, as well as the health or safety measures to be taken by employers or users as defined in the Act. The Pressure Equipment Regulations, or PER, specifically deal with portable gas containers.
A “user” is defined in the Act as a person who uses plant or machinery for his (or her) own benefit or has the right of control over the use of 'plant or machinery'.
“Machinery” is defined as “... any article used for converting any form of energy to performing work or which is used for inter alia storing, transferring or controlling any form of energy”. The Regulations provide for the safeguarding of machinery which includes that every employer or user of machinery shall ensure that all machinery used by him is suitable for the purpose for which it is used and that it is operated and maintained in such a manner so as to prevent the exposure of persons to hazardous conditions or circumstances. Furthermore every employer must ensure that all safety equipment is kept in a good working condition and is properly used.
Against this general background a specific code of practice (which is to be read with the Act and Regulations) was laid down by the South African Bureau of Standards (“SABS”) in regard to the basic design, manufacture, use and maintenance of transportable metal containers for compressed gas. The Standard was published in September October 2001 as edition 7 (it started off life as SABS 019) and also covers cylinders for self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (“SCUBA”) such as tanks and oxygen cylinders used by DAN Members. The Standard is quite specific in regard to not only design and manufacturing criteria for oxygen cylinders but also in regard to issues such as repair, marking and filling of oxygen cylinders.
Such a person (a “filler”) shall be fully conversant with the relevant requirements of the Standard, must be satisfied that the container is suitable for the intended purpose, that the container is not due for periodic inspection or testing and that permission to fill the container has been granted by the owner thereof.
Furthermore, before filling any container, the filler must ensure that the cylinder complies with the requirements of an approved standard, that the cylinder, valve and safety devices, if any, must be in a good serviceable condition and the cylinder should not show any significant defects. In addition to carrying out an inspection as mentioned above, the filler shall ensure that no cylinder equipped with a foot ring is used for underwater service and that the cylinder is not due for periodic inspection and testing. If the cylinder has a detachable boot, the filler shall remove the boot and inspect the bottom of the cylinder for signs of external corrosion.
Once the cylinder is filled the filler shall keep a record of inter alia the following information: date of filling, name and address of the owner, origin of the cylinder and its serial number, date of latest examination, type of gas filled into the cylinder and charging pressure.
Conditions apply and you need to contact Morne Christou to co-ordinate this. Tel: 011 266 4900 Fax: 011 312 0054 e-mail: [email protected]