On November 4, 2011 the Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issued a safety advisory regarding the unauthorized marking of compressed gas cylinders. The notice advised that the PHMSA recently confirmed that an undetermined number of high pressure DOT specification cylinders were improperly marked from approximately August 2007 to August 2011.
The cylinders were marked with a requalification identification number (RIN) “B377” without performing a visual inspection and hydrostatic test. Standard procedure dictates that prior to filling these cylinders, a person must verify that the cylinder has been properly re-qualified by an authorized requalification company and properly marked. The company that marked the cylinders does not have authority to re-qualify high pressure DOT cylinders.
The evidence gathered by the PHMSA suggests that if a cylinder purchased from Morgan Welding and Supply, Albion, Michigan is marked with a “B377” in which the individual letter and numbers appear to be stamped individually, the mark may have been improperly placed on the cylinder. The improper marking could indicate that the cylinder did not undergo the complete series of safety tests and inspections required by the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) and may not possess the structural integrity to safely contain its content under pressure during normal transportation and use. Extensive property damage, serious personal injury, or death could result from a rupture of such cylinder.
Individuals who identify a cylinder marked with the RIN “B377” stamped with individual letter/numbers that are not in a square pattern, are advised to remove these cylinders from service and contact Morgan Welding and Supply, Albion, MI for further instructions.
Cylinders purchased from Midwest Cylinder Inc., Cleaves, OH do not appear to be at risk as the RIN “B377” is currently authorized to Midwest Cylinder Inc. and the cylinders have been properly requalified. These cylinders can also be identified by blue paint highlighting the requalification markings. The RIN, “B377” has been stamped on the cylinder with a square pattern stamp so the marks will appear uniform and straight.