- Created on Friday, July 01 2011 16:48
Visual cylinder inspection (VCI) does not mean the same thing to all who claim to conduct VCI nor to those who write laws or guidelines about VCI. For example, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires all respiratory equipment including SCUBA and SCBA (S/S) used by employees to be visually inspected at least every month and after each use.
The PSI-PCI, Inc. Visual Cylinder Inspector textbook, INSPECTING CYLINDERS is the best single volume source for technical VCI information about steel and aluminum S/S and composite SCBA cylinders. It was first published in 1987 and is now in its greatly expanded fifth edition. PSI-PCI, Inc. produces a program for training employees to their level of exposure as required by the regulations called Cylinder Hazmat/Fill Station Operations Compliance Kit which is available for training by all current PSI-PCI trained visual inspectors.
Luxfer Gas Cylinders published an excellent guide in 1996 that clearly describes how to conduct a technical VCI on Luxfer aluminum scuba cylinders. Much of that information and procedures came from the program developed by PSI-PCI, Inc. over the past 17 years. Luxfer also published a guide for inspecting SCBA cylinders. The technical SCBA inspecting guide is printed in two volumes. Volume I deals with Luxfer aluminum and composite cylinders made before 1988 and volume II covers newer solid wall and several composite materials.
The INSPECTING CYLINDERS book contains the details necessary for a thorough visual inspection. However, it is not a substitute for formal training as required by USDOT. A technical visual cylinder inspection is a complete assessment inside and out against standards and damage limits. Cylinders that meet those standards are returned to service. Many cylinders that do not meet the standards can be serviced, usually cleaned or hydro retested, and returned to service. Damage or other conditions that fail to meet the allowable limits cause the cylinder to be condemned. Condemned S/S cylinders should not be reconditioned.