OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. To keep apprised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website at http://www.osha.gov.

May 23, 1989

MEMORANDUM FOR:     REGIONAL ADMINISTRATORS

THROUGH: LEO CAREY, Director Office of Field Programs FROM: PATRICIA CLARK, Acting Director Directorate of Compliance Programs SUBJECT: Hansen Quick Disconnect Couplings -- Evaluation for Compliance with OSHA Standards REFERENCE: (a) LINDA R. ANA memorandum to THOMAS J. SHEPICH dated March 14, 1989

It was requested by reference (a) that the subject couplings, which are used for hose connections on oxyacetylene welding and cutting apparatus, be evaluated to determine compliance with OSHA standards. OSHA standards applicable to this evaluation include:

29 CFR 1915.55(f)(5), "Hose couplings shall be of the type that cannot be unlocked or disconnected by means of a straight pull without rotary motion."

29 CFR 1917.152(d)(3)(iv), "Hose couplings shall not unlock or disconnect without rotary motion."

29 CFR 1926.350(f)(5), "Hose couplings shall be of the type that cannot be unlocked or disconnected by means of a straight pull without rotary motion."

The Hansen quick disconnect (QD) couplings for oxyacetylene service consist of two coupling series. The 600-Series couplings are manufactured for oxygen service and the coupling female end is color coded green. The 700-Series couplings are manufactured for acetylene service and the coupling female end is color coded red. The 600-Series and 700-Series couplings are distinguishable from each other by feel (oxygen female sleeve is smooth, acetylene female sleeve is textured), and through design the male-to-female coupling ends are not interchangeable between coupling series.

The Hansen QD couplings are designed to be installed so that the coupling female end is on the gas supply side of the hose. The QD couplings are connected by rotating the female sleeve alignment mark to line up with the retaining ball, pulling back the spring loaded female sleeve, fully inserting the male end into the female end, releasing the female sleeve, and rotating the sleeve alignment mark 1/4 to 1/2 turn from the retaining, ball.

If the female sleeve is aligned to the releasing position during use, it is possible for the coupling to become inadvertently disconnected by means of a straight pull. Should this possible, but unlikely, event occur the only gas that will be discharged from the hose will be from the hose coupling male end and no danger of the hose whipping about exists. This is because the female coupling end is fitted with a spring loaded valve which immediately closes when the male coupling end is removed. Therefore, with the male coupling end removed no gas can flow through the female coupling end from the gas supply.

The Hansen 600-Series and 700-Series QD couplings are in compliance with OSHA standards when properly installed for use. Proper installation includes having the female coupling end on the gas supply side, and the female sleeve rotated so that the coupling cannot be disconnected by means of a straight pull.