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During a lifeguard training session in July 2019, a new cylinder was to be fitted to an Oxy-Viva set. Two workers were injured when a worker ‘cracked’ a ‘C’ size medical oxygen cylinder. Cracking involves opening the valve slightly then closing it with the intention of removing any contaminants from the outlet of the cylinder.
The cylinder was not secured and the worker lost control of it and it shot through the air. The valve spindle broke off on contact with the ground, leaving a short stub which cut a groove in a person’s leg. Travelling further, it broke another person’s leg and toes. The outlet on the valve was at the side, influencing the cylinder’s random path.
The supplier’s information warned not to crack the cylinder, as the outlet was shrink-wrapped to keep it clean.