Sheila Pantry Associates Ltd

News from around the World

News Archive

December 2017

Contents
  1. Healthy Workplaces Manage Dangerous Substances campaign
  2. Do you work with Ionising Radiation?
  3. Event: Strengthening Surveillance by Consent – Engaging with the National Surveillance Camera Strategy
  4. Event: What Works – Moving Your OSH Information to Action Utilizing Best Practices of Digital Media
  5. Chinese versions of the UK FABIG Technical Notes are now available
  6. New UK NEBOSH HSE Process Safety Certificate now being piloted by RRC International
  7. Event: ACI’s European Environmental Ports Conference 2018
  8. UK Pilots welcome new drone safety law
  9. ASH comment on the statement by the Committee on Toxicity on new ‘Heat not Burn’ tobacco products
  10. If sitting is the new Smoking, should Employers to be held Liable?
  11. Event: 3rd European Symposium on Fire Safety Science – Call for Papers
  12. Reducing modern slavery
  13. Most zero hours workers want guaranteed hours
  14. World AIDS Day 1 December 2017
  15. New Institute for Risk and Regulatory Research
  16. New President of IOSH seeking to show health and safety “makes sense”
  17. TUC backs call to end “unfair” Swedish Derogation
  18. Lessons from the UK King’s Cross tragedy not learned
  19. Shopworkers in the UK want legal protection from violence
  20. Airbus fails to convince union over Super Puma safety
  21. ‘Gig economy’ law would be a major step forward
  22. USA News: Systematic Review for Occupational Safety and Health Questions
  23. News from the European Chemicals Agency
  24. Helping Great Britain Work Well calls to employers to do more pays dividends
  25. A Sword of Honour for the emergency services in recognition of their heroism
  26. Managing the Safe Condition of Mobile Elevating Work Platforms
  27. BCGA L6 cylinders in fires: Revision 5: 2017

Healthy Workplaces Manage Dangerous Substances campaign

2018 is coming and with the New Year, the European Agency “Healthy Workplaces Manage Dangerous Substances” campaign is knocking on your door.

The campaign is devoted to raising awareness of dangerous substances and promoting a prevention culture in workplaces across Europe.

EU-OSHA will launch this 2018-2019 campaign in spring. We hope that all our campaign partners and stakeholders will support it as powerfully as they advocated the latest one, “Healthy Workplaces for All Ages”.

Stay updated about the Healthy Workplaces Campaign 2018-19

Do you work with Ionising Radiation?

The UK has a new set of Ionising Radiation Regulations come into force on 1 January 2018 and if you work with ionising radiation one of the biggest changes is the way you submit information to HSE.

Work with ionising radiation is carried out across a broad range of industries and includes:

The Ionising Radiations Regulations (IRR) are being revised, and a new set of Regulations (IRR17) will come into force on 1 January 2018.

One of the changes introduced by these revised Regulations is the introduction of a risk-based approach to telling HSE of your work with ionising radiation.

Rather than just notifications, there will be three distinct tiers:

If you are already working with ionising radiation, you will need to submit this information to HSE between 1 January 2018 and 5 February 2018, even if you have previously provided information

There may be a fee associated with re-submitting this information to HSE.

For more information on the new risk-based tiers, and the associated fees involved, please visit the HSE web page on the new changes.

15 March 2018, Central London

There are currently between 4 to 6 million surveillance cameras in operation nationwide, making Britain a global leader in surveillance. 54% of all local authorities equip members of staff or external contractors with body worn cameras at a cost of £1,791,960.81. However, concerns have been raised about proportionate, transparent and effective use, with 66% of councils failing to complete Privacy Impact Assessments (PIAs) and 21% holding non-evidential footage for longer than the limit adhered to by police forces.

In March 2017 the Government released its National Surveillance Camera Strategy England and Wales. The strategy seeks to provide leadership in the surveillance camera community with the intention of spreading best practice and enhancing system operator understanding of their legal obligations. The new strategy also links with relevant legislation such as the Human Rights Act 1998, Crime and Disorder Act 1998, and is aligned closely to the Home Office responsibility to safeguard the UK safe from terrorism and to prevent crime.

The utilisation of surveillance methods in the delivery of public services has also become more widespread. 71% of police forces have adopted Body Warn Cameras with a total spend of £22,703,235 (Big Brother Watch). Questions remain whether this technology is effective in preventing and reducing crime, with the Crown Prosecution Service yet to release data on the use of Body Worn Camera footage in court proceedings. Surveillance technologies have also proliferated within UK schools, with Classroom Management Software being installed on 821,386 devices. However, civil liberty organisations have resultantly raised concerns over the individual rights and liberties of students and staff.

This vital symposium will explore the debate surrounding surveillance by consent and provide local authorities, schools, police forces, SOCA, Police and Crime Commissioners, community safety teams, CCTV system operators and other stakeholders an invaluable opportunity to engage with the National Surveillance Camera Strategy.

More information: www.publicpolicyexchange.co.uk/events/IC15-PPE

Event: What Works – Moving Your OSH Information to Action Utilizing Best Practices of Digital Media

22-24 May 2018, Schaeffergarden, Copenhagen area, Denmark

This course focuses on optimizing communication strategies by discussing relevant and effective case studies that highlight the core elements of the communication continuum: reach-engagement-interventions and campaigns to move our audiences to action. Case Studies for dissemination and engagement will be selected from Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Science Blogs, Google, Wikipedia, UK National Health Service, and the Center for Disease Control (CDC). In addition, case studies focusing on campaigns and interventions will be selected from several international entities (EU-OSHA, ISSA, Cochrane Libraries, EDC-Stockholm, and CDC) to illustrate techniques and highlight effective strategies of moving our information to action.

Main topics:

More information: https://niva.org/course/works-moving-research-practice-utilizing-social-marketing-wikipedia-strategic-partnerships

Chinese versions of the UK FABIG Technical Notes are now available

FABIG is pleased to inform you that some of the FABIG Technical Notes have been translated into Chinese and are now available from the FABIG website. As such, please do not hesitate to forward this email to your Chinese colleagues who may be interested in such versions.

The following Technical Notes are available in Chinese:

More information: www.fabig.com/video-publications/TechnicalGuidance

New UK NEBOSH HSE Process Safety Certificate now being piloted by RRC International

Health, safety and environmental training specialist RRC International has been chosen by NEBOSH to help it pilot the NEBOSH HSE Certificate in Process Safety Management. This new qualification is designed specifically for those with safety responsibilities in the process industries and aims to provide candidates with the knowledge and understanding they need to contribute effectively to managing process safety risks. The qualification has been developed through a collaboration between NEBOSH and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

This course is suitable for those who work in process industries all over the world, such as oil and gas, chemicals, plastics and pharmaceuticals. Given the hazardous nature of these industries, this qualification has been designed to give managers, supervisors and safety professionals working in them the specialist knowledge and understanding they need to keep their staff, sites and surroundings safe.

RRC is running pilot courses in both their London and Dubai training centres and has already received a lot of interest in the new qualification.

More information: www.rrc.co.uk

Event: ACI’s European Environmental Ports Conference 2018

16-17 May 2018, Antwerp, Belgium

ACI’s European Environmental Ports Conference 2018 intends to follow on from the success of our inaugural 2017 edition. This year we are returning to Antwerp on the 16th & 17th May. Through extensive industry research and the aid of our Agenda Committee Members, we have attained a great insight into the port industry and its environmental concerns.

The conference will examine the most pressing matters within the port industry such as: air quality, waste management, keeping up with compliance, improving relationships with the local area, onshore power supply and water quality. Moreover, the two-day event will hear from cruise liners on their environmental output, alternative ideas and approaches from ports around Europe. There will also be a discussion between stakeholders focusing on cooperation from all areas of the port industry, assessing what can be done to improve the environment within ports in the long term.

More information: www.wplgroup.com/aci/event/environmental-ports-conference

UK Pilots welcome new drone safety law

Pilots’ union BALPA has welcomed plans for a new drone safety law that would require drone users to take a safety awareness test. A government bill says drones weighing more than 250 g could also be banned from flying near airports, or above 400 feet, in a crackdown on unsafe flying. Police will be given new powers to seize and ground drones which may have been used in criminal activity. BALPA said a law is necessary, and has warned of near misses involving drones and aircraft. The union said there have been 81 incidents so far this year – up from 71 in 2016 and 29 in 2015.

The union’s general secretary, Brian Strutton, said: “These proposals are a step towards the safe integration of drones, but until the new rules are in place the threat of a serious collision remains.” He added: “It would be a tragedy if such an incident were to occur and lives were lost while we await these measures. That’s why BALPA continues to push for this programme of legislation to be adopted quickly; pilots would prefer to see it implemented in 2018 rather than at a later date.”

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/tuc-risks-828-2-december-2017#_Toc499810629

ASH comment on the statement by the Committee on Toxicity on new ‘Heat not Burn’ tobacco products

In response to the publication of the Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment (COT) review of the safety of ‘heat not burn’ tobacco products Deborah Arnott, the chief executive of health charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) said:

“The COT review is welcome as an independent assessment of tobacco industry evidence on ‘heat not burn’ products. COT concluded that while ‘heat not burn’ products are lower risk than smoking they are not risk free, so quitting tobacco use completely is still the healthiest option. The COT review did not examine the evidence on e-cigarettes, so was unable to compare the two. This is needed to help provide reassurance to the public and ASH recommends COT be commissioned to carry out such a comparison.”

Note: The UK independent advisory Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment (COT), supported by the Committees on Mutagenicity and Carcinogenicity (COM and COC), was asked to review the toxicological risks of novel heat-not-burn tobacco products to provide PHE and DH with a general opinion on the toxicological risks of this type of product.

More information: www.ash.org.uk

If sitting is the new Smoking, should Employers to be held Liable?

Increases in technology have only exacerbated an already dire situation, leaving a large portion of the office-based workforce sitting for over 70% of their workday.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and state occupational health administrations emphasize how beneficial such programs can be for employers due to the resulting reductions in health care costs and absenteeism, as well as improved morale and productivity.

Full article: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/11/171114155531.htm

Event: 3rd European Symposium on Fire Safety Science – Call for Papers

12-14 September 2018, University of Lorraine, Nancy, France

Following the conference held in Cyprus (2015), the 3rd ESFSS, will be the third edition of a series of symposia organized in Europe, with the participation of the International Association for Fire Safety Science (IAFSS). The aim is to gather researchers from and beyond Europe to have exchanges and discussions about fire safety science.

The program will have oral and poster sessions for the presentation of fully peer-reviewed papers over the three days, including invited lectures from world’s top fire science researchers.

The 3rd ESFSS will be hosted by the LEMTA, a French laboratory affiliated to the University of Lorraine and the CNRS in Nancy, with the support of the GDR Feux – the French Research Group on Fire.

Researchers, and Practitioners, are invited to submit contributions related to one of the following themes:

More information: https://iafss.org/2017/12/03/call-for-papers-the-3rd-european-symposium-on-fire-safety-science-nancy-france-12-14-september-2018

Reducing modern slavery

“The campaign to drive out modern slavery is in the early stages. So far it is helping to establish the scale and international nature of this issue. To combat modern slavery successfully, however, government will need to build much stronger information and understanding of perpetrators and victims than it has now.” Amyas Morse, head of the National Audit Office (NAO), 15 December 2017

Until the government is able to establish effective oversight of the modern slavery system as a whole, it will not be able to significantly reduce the prevalence of modern slavery or show that it is achieving value for money, according to today’s report from the National Audit Office.

The UK Government Home Office has an incomplete picture of the crime, the victims and the perpetrators. Accountability within the modern slavery strategy is unclear, oversight of victim support is inadequate and few cases have led to prosecution. The NAO also finds that the Home Office has limited means of tracking its progress and there remains much more to do to ensure victims of modern slavery are identified, protected and supported effectively.

The Modern Slavery Strategy was introduced by the Home Office in 2014 and aimed to significantly reduce the prevalence of modern slavery. The 2015 Modern Slavery Act made provisions for slavery, servitude, forced labour and for human trafficking, including for the protection of victims and for an Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner.

More information: https://www.nao.org.uk/report/reducing-modern-slavery

Most zero hours workers want guaranteed hours

Most people on zero hours contracts are not on them by choice, new UK Trades Union Congress (TUC) polling has revealed. The poll shows that two-thirds (66 per cent) of zero hours workers would rather have a contract with guaranteed hours. And just one in four zero hours workers (25 per cent) say they prefer being on zero hours contracts.

The survey shows that the main reason people are on these contracts is because it is the only type of work available to them. More than half of zero hours workers (53 per cent) are thinking about quitting their job over the coming year. The polling found that many zero hours workers are missing out on basic rights at work, with only 1 in 8 (12 per cent) saying they get sick pay. Over two-fifths (43 per cent) say they don’t get holiday pay and just 1 in 20 (5 per cent) say they have the right to a permanent contract after working the same hours consistently.

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/tuc-risks-829-9-december-2017#_Toc500334149

World AIDS Day 1 December 2017

1 December is World AIDS Day, and it is an opportunity for the global community to renew its promise of an AIDS-free generation. This year’s theme is “Increasing Impact through Transparency, Accountability, and Partnerships.”

Working on the frontlines in the fight against HIV, we at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention’s Center for Global Health (PCGH) are keenly aware of the impact that our daily efforts have around the globe. Today is the day when the world joins us to reflect on the global HIV epidemic, remember those who have been lost to the disease, and recommit to an accelerated, efficient, and effective response.

This year’s theme challenges us to work together to accelerate progress toward ending HIV as a public health threat around the world. Since the beginning of the epidemic, partnerships among governments, multilateral institutions, the private sector, community-based organizations, and many others have been key to the programs and scientific achievements that have brought us to this moment.

The end of HIV/AIDS as a global public health threat is finally in sight – and this is, in large part, thanks to the U.S. government, through U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which has helped not only save and improve millions of lives but has also transformed the global HIV/AIDS response.

On this World AIDS Day, CDC is releasing new data affirming that global efforts to end HIV are working.

All of these examples are remarkable and demonstrate the progress we have made over the last few years, but perhaps none is as dramatic as the last one: data show that five high-burden countries are approaching control of their epidemics. Epidemic control seemed unthinkable in 2003 when PEPFAR started, but now it is an achievement that is within reach.

We urgently need to do more. We cannot stop now.

Recent data demonstrate strong progress against HIV, but achieving epidemic control requires focusing on those groups at greatest risk for transmitting and acquiring the virus. CDC and partners are on the front lines working to accelerate efforts to reach the most vulnerable populations with targeted HIV prevention and treatment.

Achieving HIV epidemic control and saving lives is not easy work. Essential, meaningful, important work never is. But the path, with its unmistakable end, is clearly before us, so on this World AIDS Day 2017, let us recommit ourselves to the goal we are working together to achieve.

We hope that on this World AIDS Day you are as proud of these accomplishments as we are – and just as inspired to keep going.

To learn more about global HIV efforts, visit DGHT’s World AIDS Day landing page

New Institute for Risk and Regulatory Research

UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the University of Manchester (UoM) have committed to launching an Institute for Risk and Regulatory Research.

The new Thomas Ashton Institute will capitalise on the existing strong international credibility of both the University of Manchester and HSE. It will act as a hub for Risk and Regulatory excellence reaching out globally through its educational activities and acting as an authoritative source of health and safety knowledge and expertise.

The Institute will deliver research, training and learning on a national and global stage, and will support HSE and the University of Manchester even further in growing capability and expertise in the management and regulation of risk.

Health and safety practitioners from around the world will be able to learn and benefit from the knowledge and learning opportunities available from the Institute, taking back an enhanced competence to their own countries where it can be used to improve safety and health locally.

One of the key aims of the Institute’s work will be to take the lessons learned from four decades of incident investigations and research and making them accessible to industry. The work will help to make sure that mistakes are not repeated as new technologies and industries emerge. Both partners are keen to bring new technologies to fruition safely and more quickly by addressing safety, health and regulatory barriers before they emerge.

More information: http://press.hse.gov.uk/2017/new-institute-for-risk-and-regulatory-research

New President of IOSH seeking to show health and safety “makes sense”

Demonstrating that occupational health and safety “makes good business sense” is a key priority for the new President of the leading global body in the field.

Craig Foyle is the 51st President of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH).

He hopes to draw on his vast experience in health and safety to drive IOSH forward and ensure its members are keeping pace with the evolving world of business.

He said: “To drive IOSH forward, we need to work together as one team – members, volunteers and staff. I want us to engage with all our stakeholders – members, business, trade associations, governments and other interested parties – to make everyone realise that health and safety makes good business sense.”

More information: https://www.iosh.co.uk/News/New-IOSH-President.aspx

TUC backs call to end “unfair” Swedish Derogation

The UK House of Commons Work and Pensions and BEIS Committees have recommended the end of the Swedish Derogation, a rule that means agency workers lose the right to equal pay.

This echoes a call made in Matthew Taylor’s report into insecure work.

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/tuc-backs-call-end-%E2%80%9Cunfair%E2%80%9D-swedish-derogation

Lessons from the UK King’s Cross tragedy not learned

Cuts to fire services and the London Underground safety budget show lessons from the deadly King’s Cross Tube station fire 30 years ago have not been learned, unions have said. The 18 November 1987 fire killed 31 people.

Commenting on the anniversary of the tragedy, Manuel Cortes, general secretary of the rail union TSSA, called for an independent safety audit of all London rail stations. He said automation has increased risks, noting: “The accident toll stands at over 5,000 now for this year alone – up 11 per cent on last year and up from just 53 accidents in 2003.” He warned that ‘massive cuts’ just announced by Transport for London and London Underground included plans “to slice a further 10 per cent or £3 million from their health and safety budget.”

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/tuc-risks-827-25-november-2017#_Toc499195793

Shopworkers are calling on the government to introduce an additional penalty for those who assault workers in the course of their duties.

John Hannett, general secretary of the shopworkers’ union Usdaw said: “It is entirely unacceptable that shopworkers encounter violence, threats and abuse for simply doing their job. The interim results of our annual survey have shown that such incidents have significantly increased this year, so it is entirely reasonable that shopworkers continue to ask the government for greater protection.”

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/tuc-risks-827-25-november-2017#_Toc499195794

Airbus fails to convince union over Super Puma safety

Union representatives for offshore workers have returned from a visit to Airbus HQ in France with a stark ‘no confidence’ in the future of the Super Puma helicopter. The meeting came after Unite’s warning in October that thousands of offshore workers were willing to strike over the issue.

The H225LP and sister model AS332 L2 helicopters, known as Super Pumas, were both banned from flying after a fatal incident off Norway, but the ban has since been lifted leading to union concern they could be reinstated as offshore transport.

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/tuc-risks-827-25-november-2017#_Toc499195796

‘Gig economy’ law would be a major step forward

A proposed law to tackle the gig economy would be “a positive first step” in ridding the UK of bogus self-employment, the union Unite said. The union was commenting on a draft bill jointly proposed on 20 November by the select committees for Work and Pensions and Business Energy and Industrial Strategy. Key recommendations include legislation to provide clearer definitions of employment status, geared towards giving more workers employment rights and equal pay and conditions to permanent staff.

Unite said a proposal that workers would be deemed to have worker status unless an employer was able to prove otherwise “has the potential to transform industries such as construction which are heavily reliant on bogus self-employed workers.” Unite assistant general secretary Gail Cartmail said: “The draft bill would be an initial step forward in tackling the rampant bogus self-employment which afflicts industries such as construction. Unite has always been clear that without decisive government action the rampant exploitation, casualisation and the hire and fire culture which is undermining the long-term effectiveness of the construction industry, will not be tackled.”

More information: https://www.tuc.org.uk/news/tuc-risks-827-25-november-2017#_Toc499195798

USA News: Systematic Review for Occupational Safety and Health Questions

What is systematic review?

There are many different types of occupational safety and health questions and a variety of scientific methods to answer them. Systematic review is one method for comprehensively reviewing a body of scientific literature. It is an explicit and transparent process to identify, select, synthesize, and critically appraise the scientific literature relevant to a specific question.

Systematic review methods include:

One benefit of the use of systematic review methods is improving the transparency and public documentation of how scientific evidence is collected. Its use also helps document the thoroughness of a scientific assessment and the use of the best available evidence. The use of systematic review methods does not replace the need for expert scientific judgment.

The steps in systematic review include the following:

More information: https://blogs.cdc.gov/niosh-science-blog/2017/11/28/systematic-review

News from the European Chemicals Agency

REACH 2018: Letter templates for data sharing and joint submission negotiations

We have published letter templates that companies, especially SMEs, can use when starting negotiations with co-registrants for sharing data and submitting jointly for REACH registration. The aim is to help companies that might not be familiar with the regulation to ask the right questions making sure that all aspects of the negotiations are taken into account by the parties involved.

More information: https://echa.europa.eu/reach-2018/get-organised-with-your-co-registrants

Companies asked to communicate their registration intentions for 2018

The Directors’ Contact Group (DCG) – a platform of the European Commission, ECHA and industry associations – recommends that companies communicate their registration intentions clearly to the whole supply chain to avoid potential disruptions in supply after the 31 May 2018 registration deadline.

More information: https://echa.europa.eu/-/companies-asked-to-communicate-their-registration-intentions-for-2018

Helping Great Britain Work Well calls to employers to do more pays dividends

Employers publicly committing to making positive changes to their firms’ health and safety culture has resulted in an estimated 300,000 workers reaping the benefits of improved health and safety practices.

Earlier this year, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), along with Unions and Industry leaders called for broader ownership of workplace health and safety by asking for public commitments from business.

The response from many of Great Britain’s top businesses was so positive, with more than 100 organisations making commitments, that on Friday 24 November, HSE is launching an online community dedicated to inspiring business to share their commitment to Helping Great Britain Work Well.

The launch of the new web community will establish a social sharing network where companies and businesses can make their commitments, share their journey of improvement and help each other and encourage others follow in their footsteps.

More information: http://press.hse.gov.uk/2017/helping-great-britain-work-wells-call-to-employers-to-do-more-pays-dividends

A Sword of Honour for the emergency services in recognition of their heroism

British Safety Council presents Sword and Globe Awards to world-wide leaders in health, safety and environmental management.

The British Safety Council presented the prestigious Sword of Honour and Globe of Honour Awards for the exemplary management of health, safety and environmental risks to businesses from around the world, at the awards ceremony held on Friday, 24 November 2017 at Drapers’ Hall in the City of London. The winning organisations came from a wide range of industry sectors in the UK, mainland Europe, India and the Middle East, including construction, education and training, energy generation and distribution, food and drink, leisure, logistics, manufacturing, retail and transport.

The 57 Sword of Honour and 15 Globe of Honour winners have demonstrated to an independent adjudication panel a proven track record of excellence in managing risks to workers’ health and safety and/or to the environment from the organisations’ activities.

This year, the British Safety Council has also presented a special Sword of Honour Award to the emergency services in recognition of their heroism, service and dedication to protecting the safety and health of people throughout the UK.

More information: https://www.britsafe.org/about-us/press-releases/2017/a-sword-of-honour-for-the-emergency-services-in-recognition-of-their-heroism

Managing the Safe Condition of Mobile Elevating Work Platforms

A Practical Approach to Inspection, Maintenance and Thorough Examination of Mobile Elevating Work Platforms (MEWPs)

The Construction Plant-hire Association (CPA) and International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) new guidance on Mobile Elevating Work Platforms (MEWPs) which are widely used across a broad range of industries to aid safe work at height. To ensure that MEWPs are kept in safe working condition they will require suitable maintenance procedures, backed up with appropriate inspection and thorough examination. This guidance sets out how these procedures can be planned and managed and is clear on who has what responsibilities to do so. It also helps demystify who is responsible for what, when a MEWP is on hire.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) was involved with the Strategic Forum for Plant Safety in producing this guidance. HSE endorses the guidance, as it follows a sensible and proportionate approach to managing MEWP health and safety.

More information: www.cpa.uk.net/sfpsgpublications

BCGA L6 cylinders in fires: Revision 5: 2017

British Compressed Gases Association (BCGA) Revision 5: 2017 of L6 cylinders in fires has been issued. Gas cylinders are designed and constructed to safely contain a gas under pressure which, dependant on the type of gas and usage from the cylinder, can vary from a low pressure to a very high pressure. If exposed to extreme heat, all gas cylinders are at risk of failure and may rupture due to a combination of over pressure and changes to the material properties of the cylinder shell. The presence of flammable or oxidant gases can have a significant effect on the severity of the fire. The Fire & Rescue Services are aware of this and have safe methods for dealing with gas cylinders involved in fires.

Exceptionally, dissolved acetylene has distinct properties which requires specific post fire actions. The direct heat of a fire may, in extreme circumstances, initiate decomposition of acetylene. This is an exothermic (heat creating) reaction, which can cause a dissolved acetylene cylinder to reheat after the initial fire is extinguished.

www.bcga.co.uk/cylinders-in-fires