BSAC TECHNICAL PUBLICATIONS
Information Sheet T.10
BSAC Diving Information - Compressed Gas - Warning Signs
EC legislation now coming into force in UK requires commercial vehicles carrying compressed gases and other hazardous substances, to carry a Hazard Warning sign which emergency services will recognise and make allowances for when dealing with road traffic accidents. For compressed air cylinders, the sign is a green diamond (minimum size 100mm square) with a cylinder symbol and the words Compressed Air.
Amateur divers have asked if there is any legal requirement for them to display such a sign when transporting aqualung cylinders in private cars. BSAC has sought advice from the Health and Safety Executive, and we are assured by an Inspector from the HSE Diving National Interest Group that this legislation applies only to those who are at work, not to those carrying gas cylinders in private cars for recreational purposes.
The legislation is likely to apply to diving school staff / professional recreational diving instructors carrying cylinders in a private car when used for business, but it does not apply to the average diving club member going about their recreational pursuit; nor does anything in the legislation suggest that it might be expanded to include recreational users in future.
Divers might think it socially responsible to display such a sign on their cars when carrying cylinders on the highway - and it would not be illegal to do so - but the legislation states that the sign should be displayed only while cylinders are actually in transit. If there are no cylinders in the car, there should be no sign suggesting that there are. Bearing in mind that the signs are usually in the form of a window sticker, this could be a problem! Furthermore, permanent display of such a sign might invite criminals to break into the car, hoping to find something valuable to steal.
To summarise, HSE have made it clear to BSAC that the legislation does not apply to persons who are not at work, so is not applicable to recreational divers going about their chosen sport.
I think the above is a sensible statement from a respected association.
As a Fire fighter I would rather know there is a hazard inside a car than not, but it's quite rare we attend and the driver or passenger is not on scene who should inform us of any hazards within the vehicle that are not identified by a warning sticker.
As for fixing down a cylinder, most cars have tie down fixings in the boot somewhere, and the webbing luggage straps are not expensive, a couple around the cylinder attached to the fixings may just save your, or a passengers life some day. Even a 3ltr cylinder becomes a missile during a sudden impact, and that's without the added force from a valve shearing off.
MAD for it.
Steyr LG 110 Gary Cane, Leupold 2.5-8x36 TMR
Member of the UYK, UYB, UYC, UYH & UYE club.
I would like to agree with you....but then we would both be wrong !!