All very good points and all should be taken into great consideration.
Those incidents involving compressor injuries all could have been avoided if people would exercise good safety practices.
I do want to point out however that those injuries mention absolutely nothing about repairing compressor tanks, or repairs made to the tanks if any. They do make a great point in explaining the lack of attention these poor compressors received and the outcome of what negligence can do.
Inspecting the tank is a great idea and that practice should be given regardless. Like I said, be smart about it. If your going to be cutting and welding the tank, I suggest leaving the bleeder valve all the way open.
Even when I run my compressor, I always leave the valve a little open to get rid of any excess water that the tank accumulates. You can also check this water to see if there are any traces of rust.
Use your head... use your brain. People cut out gas tanks with torches and even though its stupid, they still do it. Usually while smoking a cigarette too.