PRESS RELEASE: Trade Body calls for welding industry vigilance on flashback arrestors

National trade body the British Compressed Gases Association (BCGA) is urging the welding industry to be aware of the importance of using flashback arrestors on oxy-acetylene sets.
The use of the equipment became a mandatory requirement in the Acetylene Safety Regulations 2014
Now, the BCGA is calling on operators and their employers to be mindful of the vital safety role they play in protecting against flashbacks.

Mr Thornton said: "Flashbacks, where the flame goes back down the line into the cylinder itself, can occur when operating oxy-fuel equipment, due to operator error and faulty equipment.

"Acetylene cylinders are designed to be able to withstand and will snuff out a few flashbacks,
"However, multiple repeated flashbacks can eventually give rise to exothermic decomposition of the acetylene, which ultimately can lead damage or destruction of equipment and even a catastrophic failure of the cylinder."

While flashback arrestors play a vital role in safety, the BCGA says they need to be considered as part of the bigger picture in welding safety.

Mr Thornton added: "Flashback arrestors prevent flame going back into the cylinder, provided they are of the correct design and quality.

"However, they are an extra precaution, required by law, and not a substitute for good operation, proper training and well-maintained equipment."

In line with its focus on ‘Mission Safety,' BCGA is at the forefront in providing information and support for the welding industry, to drive forward improvements in this area.

This includes a dedicated online area, ‘Welding Matters,' on the BCGA website, which signposts viewers to initiatives and guidance, including free to download documents offering a wide-range of content.

Welding Matters can be accessed from the Gas Topics area of the BCGA website


Notes To Editors - About BCGA

The ‘invisible industry' underpinning a safe, successful and healthy nation - industrial and medical gases are essential to the existence and wellbeing of thousands of people in the UK every day.

Industrial gases perform a wide-ranging role, supporting the manufacture of information technology, as well as key UK industrial sectors including steelmaking, refining, welding, chemical processing and electronics. They also help keep homes warm, water clean and food nutritious, appealing and affordable - while medical gases play a critical role in applications including respiratory care, pain therapies and anaesthesia.

The British Compressed Gases Association (BCGA) is the UK membership body for this critical industry. With a commitment to stringent quality, safety and environmental measures, BCGA members employ 19,000 people directly and account for an annual turnover of £2.7 billion.
Members of BCGA operate in a highly-regulated industry and work together on technical, safety, health and environmental issues to achieve high standards of integrity and environmental care, both within their own and customers' working environments.

BCGA promotes safety practice through its publications and also participates in the preparation and revision of National, European and International Standards.

Press release issued by Jane Shepherd, Shepherd PR - 01335 368020

Download a pdf copy


4 October 2018


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