Cylinder design approvals withdrawn

SCUBA and SCBA cylinders manufactured from aluminium alloy 6351.

Summary

WorkSafe New Zealand considers that there are health and safety risks arising from SCUBA and SCBA cylinders manufactured from aluminium alloy 6351, and has withdrawn their design approvals.

Testing and filling stations should not test or fill any SCUBA or SCBA cylinder made from aluminium alloy 6351 listed in the table below from 31 October 2017.

Background

In 2016, there were two serious harm incidents (Sulawesi, Indonesia and Cronulla, Australia) following the catastrophic failure of SCUBA cylinders manufactured from the aluminium alloy 6351. For further information, view the WorkSafe hazard alert which was released after these incidents. 

Withdrawal of cylinder design approvals

WorkSafe has, under regulation 79 of the Hazardous Substances (Compressed Gases) Regulations 2004(external link), withdrawn all design approvals for SCUBA and SCBA cylinders manufactured from aluminium alloy 6351, effective from 31 October 2017. This has been recorded on the Registers of Gas Cylinders.

In addition, there are cylinders made from aluminium alloy 6351 which have been issued with special LAB numbers – LABxxxxSP. Any aluminium cylinder with a LABxxxxSP stamp should be checked against the table overleaf.

The withdrawal of the design approvals is supported by the Cylinder Testing Laboratory Association (CTLA) and the New Zealand Underwater Association (NZUA). 

Duties of testing and filling stations

As a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU), you must ensure the health and safety of workers, and that others are not put at risk from your work. You must eliminate risks that arise from your work so far as is reasonably practicable.

Testing and filling stations should not test or fill any SCUBA or SCBA cylinder made from aluminium alloy 6351 listed in the table below from 31 October 2017.

List of cylinders affected by the withdrawal of approval

Manufacturer Date of manufacture Country of manufacture Design specification LAB numbers
All (unless specified below)   Jan 1972 – June 1988 UK, US

DOT E 6498
DOT SP 6498

DOT E 7042
DOT SP 7042

DOT E 8107
DOT SP 8107

DOT E 8364
DOT SP 8364

DOT E 8422
DOT SP 8422

 
Luxfer Gas Cylinders Ltd     US DOT E 6498 LAB 143a LAB 148a LAB 193a
Luxfer Gas Cylinders Ltd Prior to Dec 1989 US DOT 3AL LAB 143b LAB 148b LAB 193b
CIG (Luxfer Gas Cylinders Ltd) Jan 1975 – Dec 1990 Australia AS 1777 LAB 056
LAB 137 a/b
LAB 138 a/b
LAB 139 a/b/c
LAB 261 a/b/c
LAB 450
LAB 625
LAB 626
LAB 627
LAB 628
Walter Kidde Prior to Feb 1990 US DOT E 7042
DOT SP 7042       
 
Walter Kidde   US DOT 3AL  
Luxfer Gas Cylinders Ltd   UK DOT E 8364
DOT SP 8364
 
All  Prior to 1984 US  DOT E 7235
DOT SP 7235
DOT E 8023
DOT SP 8023
DOT E 8115
DOT SP 8115 
These cylinders have a 15-year authorised service life. 
Luxfer Gas Cylinders Ltd Jan 1970 – Dec 1994  UK  HOAL 2
Others 
 

Any questions, contact hsinfo@worksafe.govt.nz.

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Safety alert: Cylinder design approvals withdrawn (PDF 53 KB)