Cutting torch safety

Print a Sign-In SheetSpanish Version Coming SoonUsing a cutting torch

Employees should be properly and thoroughly trained before attempting to work with or on any cutting torches. Always wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for the task, including shaded eye protection and gloves. Here are some other important safety tips:

  1. Light torches with friction lighters and not a lighter or matches, and always point the tip away from people.
  2. Never lay down a torch until the gases have been completely shut off.
  3. Never open or turn the pressure adjusting screws on the regulators all the way out. Always adjust flames at torch valves, not with regulator adjusting screws.
  4. ALWAYS use fuel gases at safe pressures. Many gauges permit higher, unsafe pressures. If you find a gauge that permits unsafe pressures, take it out of service immediately.
  5. Keep oxygen away from grease or oil on surfaces, such as gloves, clothes, cylinders, valves, couplings, regulators, and hoses.
  6. Oxygen and fuel gas hoses must be different in color (green for oxygen and red for fuel gas) or otherwise identified.
  7. Inspect hoses, gauges, and connections every day for leaks.
  8. Do not use steel wire or similar materials to clean tip orifices.
  9. “Flashback” occurs when a flame burns back inside a torch, tip, hose, or regulator and can cause a fire or explosion if it reaches the cylinder. Flashbacks usually make a high-pitched squealing or hissing sound. Flashback arrestors at torch handles and check valves at gas sources help prevent flashbacks.
    • In case of flashback:
      • Close the oxygen valve at once.
      • Close the fuel valve.
      • Let the torch cool off and take out of service.

Never use clear lens safety glasses while cutting with a torch; ensure the appropriate PPE is available prior to starting a task.


KEMI does not assume liability for the content of information contained herein. Safety and health remain your responsibility. This information is to be used for informational purposes only and not intended to be exhaustive or a substitute for proper training, supervision or manufacturers’ instructions/recommendations. KEMI, by publication of this information, does not assume liability for damage or injury arising from reliance upon it. Compliance with this information is not a guarantee or warranty that you will be in conformity with any laws or regulations nor does it ensure the absolute safety of any person, place or object, including, but not limited to, you, your occupation, employees, customers or place of business.