Compressed Gas Cylinders

Safety guidance on compressed gas cylinders. Filling, transport, storage, dos, don'ts and personal protection

Star Refrigeration acknowledges that health and safety hazards may arise from the reception, transport, distribution, storage, use and/or disposal of any compressed gas cylinder or gas contained within it. It is the intention of the company to ensure that any risks are reduced to a minimum. Adequate training will be given and the correct information on safe working procedures will be supplied to each employee handling compressed gases.

The following describes safe working practice for the filling, handling and use, lifting, transport and storage of compressed gas cylinders:

 

Filling

Star Technical bulletin TB136 and generic risk assessment RA026 gives safe working practice for the filling of gas cylinders.

Handling and Use

Carry out an initial visual inspection of the cylinder and any attachments (e.g. valves and regulators) look for dents, bulges, fire damage such as scorch marks. Report such damage to your manager. DO NOT USE THE CYLINDER.

Use gas cylinders in the upright, unless specifically designed to be used otherwise.

Double check that the cylinder/gas is the right one for the intended use.

Secure cylinders to prevent them falling.

Close cylinder valve and replace dust cap when cylinder is not in use.

Before connecting gas cylinders to equipment make sure that the regulator and pipework are suitable for the type of gas and pressure being used.

Wear safety footwear when handling gas cylinders.

Wear eye protection when opening cylinders to atmosphere i.e. to clear dust from the valve seats and when opening valves to pressurise lines for the first time

Do not use cylinders for any other purpose than the transport and storage of gas.

Do not drop cylinders.

DO NOT allow oxygen into any system that may contain, or may have contained, oil or grease as there is a risk of an explosion. Also, make sure all oxygen fittings are free of oil, grease or any combustible material before use.

Oxygen/acetylene kits must be fitted with flashback arrestors and it is recommended that these are the manual reset type.

 

Lifting

Use suitable cradles, slings, or other effective means when lifting cylinders with a hoist or crane.

Do not use valves, shrouds and caps for lifting cylinders unless they have been designed and manufactured for this purpose.

Gas cylinders should not be raised or lowered on the forks of a lift truck unless adequate precautions are taken to prevent them from falling or rolling off the forks.

 

Transport

Securely stow cylinders to prevent them moving or falling. This would normally be in the upright so that in the event of a leak from the valve only gas will be released not liquid.

Disconnect regulators and hoses from cylinders during transport.

Ensure cylinders are clearly marked to show their contents and the hazards associated with their contents.

It may be necessary to take special measures with certain types and quantities of compressed gases in order to ensure their safe carriage. SG019 the transport of dangerous goods gives guidance.

 

Storage

Store gas cylinders in a safe place in the open air. If this is not reasonably practicable, then store them in an adequately ventilated building or part of a building specifically reserved for this purpose.

Gas cylinders containing flammable gas should not be stored in a part of a building used for other purposes.

Protect gas cylinders from external heat sources which may adversely affect their mechanical integrity.

Gas cylinders should be stored away from sources of ignition and other flammable materials.

Avoid storing cylinders so that they stand or lie in water.

Store gas cylinders securely when they are not in use. On site, temporary lockable cages are required.

Gas cylinders should be properly restrained, unless designed to be free-standing.

Gas cylinders must be clearly marked to show, what they contain and the hazards associated with their contents.

Quantities of flammable gas stored inside buildings must be kept to a minimum and in any case be less than 100KG.

When storing flammable gas cylinders full or empty, these must be stored at least 3m away from any other full or empty gas cylinder and particularly oxygen.

Toxic and corrosive gases should be stored separately from all other gases.

Care should be taken when transporting acetylene cylinders.  If transported horizontally, the cylinder must be placed upright and left for a few hours to prevent acetone carryover into the flashback arrestors and blowtorch.

Periodic checks should be made of equipment and cylinders for leaks when they are assembled for use.

 

Employees Duties:

DO NOT fill a gas cylinder without authorisation from your manager.

Follow safe working practice as detailed above.

Always secure cylinders to prevent them falling.

Before connecting gas cylinders to equipment make sure that the regulator and pipework are suitable for the type of gas and pressure being used.

Wear eye protection when opening cylinders to atmosphere i.e. to clear dust from the valve seats and when opening valves to pressurise lines for the first time

Wear safety footwear when handling gas cylinders.

DO NOT allow oxygen into any system that may contain, or may have contained, oil or grease as there is a risk of an explosion. Also, make sure all oxygen fittings are free of oil, grease or any combustible material before use.

 

Managers duties

Ensure that any employee handling compressed gas cylinders is given the above information on safe filling, handling and use, lifting, transport and storage.

Ensure that the above requirements are met in your department or site.

Periodically check that employees are following the above requirements during site visits.

Last modified: Thursday, 4 July 2013, 9:53 AM