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Mine Safety and Health Administration MSHA's Accident Prevention Program
Safety Idea

Welding or Cutting on Tanks Safely

Safety Something YOU can live with!
Mine Type: All
Category: Maintenance


Sometimes a tank or container that contains or has contained flammable, combustible or other hazardous substance vapors, liquids or solid residues must be cut or welded. Procedures need to be followed for the repair or work that has the potential to create a fire, explosion or other hazard. MSHA regulations 30 CFR 57.4604 or 30 CFR 75.1903(d) address this issue.

Before starting any work: Welding or Cutting on Tanks Safely "
  • Determine the characteristics of the substance.
  • "
  • Drain and flush the tanks in accordance with environmental laws.
  • "
  • Inert the tank atmosphere with a flow of gas such as CO2, etc.
  • "
  • Evaluate the potential health and safety risks and hazards.
  • "
  • Develop a plan to be followed with step by step procedures.


  • Obtain other assistance from:
  • 1. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standard, 326.
  • 2. The OSHA web site regarding safe repair of tanks. The information is a part of Fire Prevention-'1926.352.


  • Injuries may be prevented if the mining industry follows these suggestions. The cost is minimal compared to the cost of accidents.

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    Issued: 01/25/2006
    Tag # AP2005- 91955