Bees, wasps, and cylinder caps--a painful combination

J. E. Goldsmith
R&D Safety Coordinator, OSi Specialties, Sistersville, W. Va.

Chemical & Engineering News (2 Oct 1995) Vol. 73, No. 40, pp. 4.

The safety issue of bees, wasps, and gas cylinder caps poses an interesting health risk during the warm weather months. Many gas cylinders are stored outside where bees, wasps, and other stinging insects can easily and quickly build a nest inside the cylinder caps. The cap is accessible to the insects because of vent holes in the cap to relieve pressure should the primary valve fail.

When a person handles the cylinder, the potential for injury either from the bee or wasp sting or the falling cylinder becomes great. If the individual is allergic to the stings, then the injury could have subsequent serious anaphylactic effects.

Although the manufacturers do not recommend the placement of clear plastic bags around the caps, we have found that this is the most effective means of controlling this safety concern. I am sure that other companies have experienced this problem. The manufacturers could easily weld screens to each cap during or after production to mitigate the risk I have described.

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