OHS Code Explanation Guide

Published Date: July 01, 2009
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Part 10 Fire and Explosion Hazards

Section 172 Storage compartments

Subsection 172(1)

The employer must ensure that welding services provided from vehicles comply with CSA Standard W117.2-06, Safety in Welding, Cutting and Allied Processes. Readers are referred to section 171.1(1) for a complete explaination of this standard.

Subsection 172(2)

This subsection applies to solid-walled storage compartments in which compressed gas cylinders are stored. If one or more of the external walls (the top and bottom of the compartment are not considered to be walls) of the compartment is made of expanded metal, then the compartment is not considered to be solid-walled and the requirements do not apply. The expanded metal used must be at least 80 percent open space to provide an acceptable level of passive flow-through ventilation. Louvres are not an acceptable alternative to expanded metal as they do not provide the same degree of passive flow-through ventilation.

The design of the compartment must permit passive flow-through ventilation. To do this, vents must provide 0.18 square metres (2 square feet) of free area for every 0.42 cubic metres (15 cubic feet) of compartment volume. The free area of the vents must be divided equally between the top surface and bottom surface of the storage compartment. Additional vents exceeding the specified 2 square feet :15 cubic feet ratio may be added to the storage compartment.

Vents must remain unobstructed under all conditions of use e.g. free of ice and snow build-up during winter operating conditions and free of mud and other debris at all times.

Subsection 172(3)

The gas cylinder storage compartment must be fabricated and assembled in such a way that gases or vapours arising in the compartment cannot flow to, and accumulate in, adjoining compartments.

Subsection 172(4)

Latching and locking hardware used on compartment doors must be made of non-sparking materials to minimize the possibility of creating a spark.

Electrical components such as wiring harnesses, cables, lights and switches should not be located within gas cylinder storage compartments. However, if present, they must be designed for use in an explosive atmosphere. Products approved as suitable for use in the appropriately classified hazardous location must bear the mark or label of a nationally accredited testing organization such as CSA, ULC, UL, etc.

Subsection 172(5)

No explanation required.