Due to a fatal accident that occurred in Channelview, Texas last Tuesday, OSHA is investigating the whereabouts of potentially deadly cylinders of class D breathing air often used when working in a confined space.
As a result, The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) issued an immediate alert to its 33,000 members.
ASSE President Frank Perry states in the notification that ASSE was told by OSHA that on March 21, two painter were wearing sandblast hoods connected to compressed air cylinders that may not have contained a sufficient amount of oxygen.
Following the accident, OSHA's preliminary tests found that the cylinders had a low level of oxygen.
As a result, OSHA and the Houston-based manufacturer of the cylinders, Aeriform, are requesting that any and all air cylinders marked "compressed air -- breathing" that were purchased within the last three months be tested for oxygen content prior to usage.
Perry also noted that according to OSHA, any potential cylinders, although purchased and currently only found in Texas, could be anywhere in the country at this time and should be checked.
"We are working with OSHA to get the word out now before any other tragedies occur," said Perry.
The air cylinders should be checked for an oxygen level of 19 to 23 percent by volume.
They were part of lot number C860-2-00-39RS, which consisted of three clusters of 12 cylinders that were filled at Aeriform on Feb. 8, 2000.
Stenciled at the bottom frame of the clustered cylinders are either the numbers 9063 or 9065.
Perry noted that since records of product shipment are apparently incomplete, according to OSHA, ASSE is notifying its chapters countrywide of the issue.
"We have received a number of inquiries from our members concerned about this incident," said Perry.
If a cylinder is located, OSHA urges people to contact Aeriform at (713) 926-3166.