Focus Area: Hazards of Oxygen Enrichment

The documents related to the Hazards of Oxygen Enrichment can be downloaded on this page.

Oxygen eLearning

Safety information on oxygen enrichment is given in the EIGA eLearning on oxygen safety.

Click here for Oxygen eLearning

Cleaning of Equipment for Oxygen Service - Doc 33

Since the early days of the industrial gases industry, it has been recognized that maintaining cleanliness of components in contact with oxygen is essential to avoid ignition of components or systems. Oxygen is not flammable but supports and accelerates combustion of most materials used in oxygen systems. Recognition of oxygen's reactivity has led to stringent requirements for the cleanliness of equipment in oxygen service.

This publication has been prepared by a group of experts in industrial gases technology or oxygen equipment and is based on currently available technical information and experience. It provides knowledge on the cleaning, inspection, and packaging and handling of equipment used in oxygen service.

This publication describes the cleaning methods and requirements for equipment used in the production, storage, distribution, and use of liquid and gaseous oxygen to reduce the risk of fire, explosion, or promotion of combustion.

Cleaning in accordance with this publication is required for all surfaces in contact with a gas or liquid that has an oxygen concentration greater than 23.5%. Examples of such equipment include stationary storage tanks, road tankers, and rail cars; pressure vessels such as heat exchangers and distillation columns; compressors and pumps; and associated piping, valves, and instrumentation.

However, the cleaning methods and requirements are not limited to this equipment. With modifications, these methods may be used for cleaning other oxygen and oxidizer (e.g. fluorine, nitrogen trifluoride, nitrous oxide) service equipment such as cylinders, cylinder valves, cylinder regulators, welding torches, and pipelines where regulatory requirements do not specify cleaning methods.

This publication is intended for all personnel involved in the cleaning of equipment for oxygen service.

Centrifugal Compressors for Oxygen Service - Doc 27

Centrifugal compressors are a key component in many air separation plants, and their correct design, installation, operation and maintenance is essential to ensure uninterrupted operation.

The purpose of the document is to provide general guidance on the design, manufacturing, installation and operation of centrifugal oxygen compressors, thereby safeguarding personnel and equipment as well as ensuring reduced downtime from this equipment. The document has been prepared by industry experts including representatives of equipment manufacturers.

It is intended for those involved at all stages of centrifugal oxygen compressors including those who specify, design, install, operate and maintain these items.

The document has undergone minor editorial changes and clarification of terms during the process of harmonisation with other associations. Technical changes have been identified by underlining of text and summarised in a table after the table of contents.

Fire Hazards of Oxygen and Oxygen Enriched Atmospheres - Doc 04

This publication is intended to provide personnel who are working with oxygen, or who may be working in or near oxygen-enriched atmospheres, with a high level of awareness of the fire and explosion hazards associated with these conditions.

It sets out essential information necessary and the relevant protective measures that should be taken to prevent fire hazards resulting from handling oxygen.

An appendix provides a summary of the information in the publication that can be reproduced as a pamphlet to be handed to those involved in daily operations involving oxygen or be used as a supplement to safety presentations.

A second appendix lists some incidents that have taken place in recent years and can be used as examples underlining the hazards of oxygen and oxygen-enriched atmospheres.

This publication can be used as a training package suitable for supervisors, line managers, direct workers and users wherever oxygen is produced, stored, used, or where oxygen enriched atmospheres could otherwise occur.

Hazard! Oxygen Enrichment - SL 02

The air we breathe contains about 21% oxygen. Without oxygen we would die in a matter of minutes. It may be hard to believe, but oxygen can be also dangerous! Every year several incidents are reported where workers’ oxygen enriched clothing catch fire. Fires in an oxygen enriched atmosphere start easily and are very intense, so people can suffer very serious burns, which are often fatal.

This leaflet summarises the risks and hazards of oxygen enrichment, identifies common causes of enrichment and the precautions that should be taken and references the EIGA Life Saving Rule on the hazards of dealing with oxygen.

Other EIGA documents that will help to train staff and create safe systems of work when using oxygen are referenced, including the recently revised Doc. 04 Fire Hazards of Oxygen and Oxygen Enriched Atmospheres.

The leaflet is relevant for everyone in the industrial and medical gases industry and our oxygen customers and users.