The company put unauthorized markings on about 5,900 compressed gas cylinders in 2011 and 2012, according to the PHMSA advisory.

Advisory Warns of Unauthorized Marking of Gas Cylinders

The PHMSA safety advisory said an investigation indicated Beauchesne Fire Equipment of Attleboro Falls, Mass., marked about 5,900 high-pressure compressed gas cylinders with test dates and Requalifier Identification Number H557 in 2011 and 2012 without conducting the prescribed hydrostatic testing of them.

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has published a safety advisory to alert the public about unauthorized marking of high-pressure compressed gas cylinders by Beauchesne Fire Equipment, a company based in Attleboro Falls, MA.

According to the alert, agents from the U.S. DOT Inspector General's Office in Cambridge, Mass., with assistance from a PHMSA investigator from the Eastern Region Field Operations Office, recently determined Beauchesne had marked about 5,900 high-pressure compressed gas cylinders with test dates and Requalifier Identification Number H557 in 2011 and 2012 without conducting the required hydrostatic testing of them. It says Aaron Beauchesne, the company's owner, had pleaded guilty on May 14, 2013, in a Massachusetts federal court to violating the federal hazardous materials transportation law (49 U.S.C. §§ 5101-5128) relating to testing and requalification of compressed gas cylinders. PHMSA terminated the RIN Approval H557 issued to Beauchesne Fire Equipment on Sept. 18.

"A cylinder requalification consisting of a visual inspection and a hydrostatic test, conducted as prescribed in the HMR, is used to verify the structural integrity of a cylinder. If the requalification is not performed in accordance with the HMR, a cylinder with compromised structural integrity may be returned to service when it is not safe or authorized for use. Extensive property damage, serious personal injury, or death could result from rupture of a cylinder," it states.

Any cylinder stamped with the RIN H557 with a test date in 2011 or 2012 should be considered unsafe and not authorized to be filled with hazardous material unless the cylinder is first properly visually examined and hydrostatically tested by an individual or company authorized to requalify DOT specification cylinders, the alert states.

A list of authorized requalifiers is available here.

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