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.
Oil grease or similar substances must not be allowed to come into contact
with compressed oxygen or liquid oxygen. Contact of this substance with
oxygen may result in an explosion. Personnel working in an area of possible
oxygen concentration, such as near an oxygen vent or a liquid oxygen
spillage, or in a trench where oxygen seepage and concentration might occur,
must ensure that their clothing is free from contaminations of oxygen before
lighting a cigarette or approaching a naked flames. It is essential that the
clothes be dries for at least 15 minutes before approaching a flame after
any such contamination.
The following precautions must be strictly observed at all times:
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 cigarette 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
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.
14. Compressor and Expander lubricating oil consumption must be regularly
checked any excessive consumption must be investigated immediately and the
15. The cold box atmosphere must be checked at least once in a week. If
local frost spots occur or if liquid level is unaccountably lost in the
plant, and if any check indicates oxygen concentration above 21%, immediate
action should be taken to locate and rectify.
16. The use of a flame ( e.g. for welding or cutting) in the immediate
vicinity of the Air Separation Plant or oxygen piping must be permitted only
when the plant has been shut down and de frosted and when the oxygen content
of the air within the equipment concerned does not exceed the atmospheric
normal of 21%. Do not attempt repair until all pressure is released from the
section to be dismantled.
17. Remember that pressure alone is not dangerous. A Boiler at 0.7 Kg/cm2g
may be more destructive in the event of an explosion than a small container
at 220 kgs/cm2 owing to the greater mass of metal involved. In general,
fluid at high pressure and moving at a high velocity are the most dangerous.
Use a face shield or chemical type safety goggles when using the oxygen or
nitrogen test set to prevent possible injury to the operator in the event of
a blow-back of the reagent.
Industrial Plants Manufacturing Co.(P) Ltd.
Mr. Sanjiv Agrawal
A-104/2, Okhla Industrial Area, Phase - II
New Delhi - 110 020, Delhi, India
Universal Industrial Plants Manufacturing Co.(P) Ltd.
Developed and Managed by IndiaMART