Compressed Gasses

Special systems are needed for handling materials under pressure. Cylinders pose mechanical, physical and/or health hazards, depending on the compressed gas in the cylinder.

  1. It is forbidden to keep cylinders containing dangerous gasses (e.g. hydrogen, acetylen) in the laboratory.
  2. Cylinders with regulators must be individually secured. Only cylinders with valve protection caps securely in place may be safely gang-chained (chained in groups).
  3. When storing or moving a cylinder, have the valve protection cap securely in place to protect the stem.
  4. Cylinders must be secured in an upright position at all times. Use suitable racks, straps, chains, or stands to support cylinders against an immovable object, such as a bench or a wall, during use and storage. Do not allow cylinders to fall or lean against one another.
  5. Use an appropriate cart to move cylinders.
  6. Never bleed a cylinder completely empty. Leave a slight pressure to keep contaminants out.
  7. Oil or grease on the high pressure side of an oxygen cylinder can cause an explosion. Do not lubricate an oxygen regulator or use a fuel gas regulator on an oxygen cylinder. Use an oxygen approved regulator.
  8. Always wear goggles or safety glasses with side shields when handling compressed gases.
  9. Always use appropriate gauges, fittings, and materials compatible with the particular gas being handled.
  10. When work with a toxic, corrosive, or reactive gas is planned, the user should be aware of information concerning specific handling requirements. Generally, these gases will need to be used and stored with local exhaust ventilation, such as a lab hood or a gas cabinet designed for that purpose

Gas Cylinder Safety

  1. All gas cylinder must be checked by the manufacturer every 5 years for hydrostatic pressure resistance .
  2. Do not drop cylinders or permit them to strike anything violently.
  3. Cylinders transported by truck must be fastened securely in an upright position so that they will not fall or strike each other.
  4. Always chain gas cylinders upright to a wall, cylinder truck, cylinder rack or post.
  5. Caps used for valve protection should be kept on the cylinders at all times except when the cylinder is actually being used or charged. Cylinders cannot be transported without safety caps. A cylinder's cap should be screwed all the way down on the cylinder's neck ring and should fit securely. Do not lift cylinders by the cap. The cap is for valve protection only.
  6. Do not use cylinders for rolling, supports or any purpose other than the transportation and supply of gas.
  7. Open cylinder valves slowly. Do not use a wrench to open or close a hand wheel type cylinder valve. If it cannot be operated by hand, the valve should be repaired.
  8. Do not attempt to repair cylinder valves or their relief devices while a cylinder contains gas pressure.
  9. Before attaching cylinders to a connection, be sure that the threads on the cylinder and the connection mate are of a type intended for the gas service.
  10. Do not permit oil or grease to come in contact with cylinders or their valves.
  11. Do not charge, ship or use any cylinder which is not provided with a legible decal that identifies its contents.
  12. Cylinders should be stored in a well ventilated area away from flames, sparks or any source of heat or ignition. Keep cylinders away from electrical circuits.
  13. Do not expose cylinders to an open flame or to any temperature above 540C.
  14. Oxygen cylinders (empty or full) in storage should be seperated from fuel-gas cylinders and combustible materials by a minimum distance of 7 meters or by a barrier at least 1.5 meters high having a fire-resistance rating of at least one-half hour.
  15. Do not store flammable gas cylinders with oxygen or nitrous oxide cylinders adjacent to oxygen charging facilities.
  16. Full and empty cylinders of all gases should be stored seperately and identified by signs to prevent confusion.
  17. Cylinders may be stored outdoors but should be protected from the ground to prevent bottom corrosion. Where extreme temperatures prevail, cylinders should be stored so they are protected from the direct rays of the sun.
  18. Cylinders should not be exposed to continuous dampness, stored near salt or other corrosive chemicals or fumes. Corrosion may damage cylinders and cause their valve protection caps to stick.
  19. Always use the proper regulator for the gas in the cylinder.
  20. Always check the regulator before attaching it to a cylinder. If the connections do not fit together readily, the wrong regulator is being used.
  21. Always "crack" the cylinder valve (open it slightly and close it immediately) before attaching a gas regulator to any cylinder - except a hydrogen or fuel gas cylinder.
  22. Wipe the outlet with a clean, dry, lint-free cloth once the cylinder valve has been cracked. The threads and mating surfaces of the regulator and hose connections should be cleaned before the regulator is attached.
  23. Always use a cylinder wrench or another tightly fitting wrench to tighten the regulator nut and hose connections.
  24. Do not crack hydrogen and fuel-gas cylinder valves - merely wipe out the outlet connections with a clean, dry, lint-free cloth.
  25. Attach the regulator securely before opening the valve wide.
  26. Stand to the side of the regulator when opening the cylinder valve.
  27. Tag leaking cylinders or cylinders with stuck valves and move to a safe, secure outdoor location.