- Standard Number:
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.
January 23, 2004
Frank S. Salvucci, Jr.
Anthony Welded Products, Inc.
1447 S. Lexington Avenue
P.O. Box 1462
Delano, CA 93216-1462
Re: Gas cylinders; §1926.350(a)(10); storage; engineered steel firewalls
Dear Mr. Salvucci:
This is in response to your October 20, 2003, letter in which you asked the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to determine if Anthony Welded Products ("Anthony") patented firewall meets the separation/firewall requirement for the storage of gas cylinders in §1926.350(a)(10). We apologize for the delay in responding.
We have paraphrased your question below:
Question: Does Anthony's patented firewall meet OSHA's separation/firewall requirement for the storage of gas cylinders under §1926.350(a)(10)?
Section 1926.350(a) requires gas cylinders to be stored in compliance with its prescribed criteria. We issued an interpretation letter to Mr. Dineen on December 31, 1998, which clarifies when a gas cylinder is considered to be in storage. The standard sets requirements for gas cylinders storage. To be properly stored, the employer must meet all the requirements of §1926.350(a). One of those requirements is §1926.350(a)(10):
Oxygen cylinders in storage shall be separated from fuel-gas cylinders or combustible materials (especially oil or grease), a minimum distance of 20 feet (6.1 m) or by a noncombustible barrier at least 5 feet (1.5 m) high having a fire resistance rating of at least one half-hour.
You provided literature about your company's gas cylinder carts with patented engineered steel fire barriers in order to comply with §1926.350(a)(10). The purpose of the barrier is to allow employers to "store" the cylinders on the cart and still meet the firewall requirement (see product illustration below):
Examples from Anthony product literature:
You ask us if this method of complying with the standard is adequate. The literature you provided about these products indicates that the steel barrier has been engineered specifically to meet a ½-hour fire resistance rating and to prevent a fire in one cylinder from spreading to the other cylinder on the cart. The barrier is also depicted as meeting the standard's height requirement.1
While we do not have the background technical information regarding the design and testing of that product and are not in a position to independently evaluate the product, as long as the barrier is at least 5 feet high, meets the ½-hour fire resistance rating and is designed to prevent the spread of the fire from one cylinder to another, employers using the product would meet the requirements of §1926.350(a)(10).2
If you need additional information, please contact us by fax (202-693-1689) at: U.S. Department of Labor, OSHA, Office of Construction Standards and Guidance. You can also contact us by mail at U.S. Department of Labor, OSHA, Office of Construction Standards and Guidance, Room N3468, 200 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20210, although there will be a delay in our receiving correspondence by mail.
Russell B. Swanson, Director
Directorate of Construction
1 In a letter issued by OSHA to Mr. Anastasi on April 21, 1991, the Agency stated that a "heavy-gauge metal partition" proposed by Mr. Anastasi would not meet this requirement. However, as discussed above, the literature you provided indicates that the Anthony steel barrier is not simply a sheet of metal but has been specifically designed and tested to meet the standard's requirements. [back to text]
2 In a May 23, 2001 letter to John J. Stallbaumer, we considered product literature describing an engineered steel barrier installed on a cart between oxygen and acetylene gas tanks that is at least 5 feet high and meets the ½-hour fire resistance rating. We stated that a product that met those parameters would comply with the separation/firewall requirement for the storage of gas cylinders in §1926.350(a)(10). We note that the product literature submitted by Mr. Stallbaumer was that of Anthony cylinder carts/firewalls. [back to text]