Many people across a wide range of industries, including manufacturing, mining, science and hospitality use gases from compressed gas cylinders. Gas stored in cylinders is under high pressure and, as such, can pose serious risks to users, including fire, explosion, asphyxiation and uncontrolled release of pressure.
To ensure gas cylinders are used safely, precautions need to be taken when storing and handling them.
For new users of gas cylinders, it is essential that adequate training and guidance is provided; here are some hints and tips highlighting some key points to consider when using gas cylinders:
- Always read the labels and Safety Data Sheet (SDS) before use.
- Keep in a cool, well-ventilated area, away from heat sources, sources of ignition and combustible materials, and don’t store flammable and oxidising gases together.
- Store cylinders upright and use in well ventilated, secure areas away from pedestrian or vehicle thoroughfares.
- Keep full and empty cylinders separate.
- Ensure cylinders are appropriately secured and guarded against being knocked violently or allowed to fall.
- Keep ammonia based leak detection solutions, oil and grease away from cylinders and valves.
- Wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including safety shoes, glasses and gloves when handling, connecting and using cylinders.
- Never use force when opening or closing valves.
- Ensure cylinders are properly restrained to mechanical lifting/handling devices prior to movement.
- Never repaint or disguise markings and damage on cylinders. If damaged, return the cylinder to BOC immediately.
[ As we build this list, we want to know here what are your top do's and don'ts for gas cylinder safety in the workplace, and if your gas cylinder safety training covered these points?]
For more advice, please refer to the Guidelines for Gas Cylinder Safety available at www.boc.com.au