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Royal Life Saving releases Position Statement on Safe Use of Medical Oxygen Cylinders in aquatic centres

Royal Life Saving releases Position Statement on Safe Use of Medical Oxygen Cylinders in aquatic centres
October 17, 2019

Following a recent incident at a facility in Western Australia, Royal Life Saving Society - Australia has updated its Recommendations for Safe Use of Medical Oxygen Cylinders.

The incident in Western Australia saw two people injured in a lifeguard training session, when one lifeguard lost control of the cylinder during the cracking process. Consequently the cylinder shot through the air - injuring two people Royal Life Saving advised "the dangers involved in the process of cracking a cylinder, such as those outlined above, have resulted in the decision to remove the instruction to crack a cylinder prior to attaching a regulator.”

Recommendations for Safe Use of Medical Oxygen Cylinders Position Statement
The dangers involved in the process of cracking a cylinder, such as those outlined above, have resulted in the decision to remove the instruction to crack a cylinder prior to attaching a regulator. While it as been common place to crack cylinders for reasons of hygiene, changes to packaging that has been implemented over a period of time, has also nullified the importance of this method.

The following advice should extend to Training Sessions and Aquatic Centre procedures involving the setup and use of Medical Grade Oxygen:

• Read the supplier's instructions for all gas products carefully
• Comply with the supplier's instructions
• Do NOT crack the cylinder, or open the valve before the regulator has been fitted to the cylinder
• If difficulties occur when fitting the regulator to the cylinder, or if further information is required, contact the cylinder supplier and regulator supplier before acting. There could be a mismatch or damage to locator pins, so it is important to identify the problem rather than apply force.

Further information can be found at www.commerce.wa.gov.au/publications/safety-alert-042019-safe-use-medical-oxygen-cylinders 

Click here to read the Royal Life Saving advice.

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