Compressed Gas Cylinders

What is a compressed gas cylinder?

A compressed gas cylinder is a pressure vessel containing a gas or mixture of gases at an absolute pressure exceeding 40 psi at 70˚F; a gas or mixture of gases at an absolute pressure exceeding 104 psi at 130˚F regardless of the pressure at 70˚F, or a liquid having a vapor pressure exceeding 40 psi at 100˚F.

What hazards are associated with compressed gas cylinders?

Compressed gas cylinder hazards include but are not limited to:

1. Leakage of unexpected toxic gases causing poisonous atmosphere
2. Flammable and reactive gases or vapors leak and displace air, creating fire or explosion
3. Leakage of inert gas causing oxygen deficient atmospheres which can suffocate humans
4. Improper storage and securing of cylinders causing physical struck-by hazards
5. Leaking of oxidizing or corrosive substances which can contact people and equipment

What controls may be used to protect yourself from compressed gas cylinder injuries and illnesses?

1. Use only properly identified cylinders and do not rely solely on color codes
2. Wear personal protective equipment that is suitable for the hazard potential of the cylinder contents
3. Do not use cylinders which have corroded valves, gauges or other fixtures
4. Isolate, tag and report cylinders which may present a hazard
5. Do not try to repair cylinders without proper training or while it is pressurized
6. Ensure cylinder caps are in place when not in use
7. Store cylinders upright at all times
8. Never transport with regulator in place
9. Never drag, slide or roll cylinders
10. Ensure cylinders are stored away from ignition sources such as direct sunlight, other thermal heat sources, open flames and smoking areas
11. Mark empty cylinders and separate them from other cylinders
12. Do not use Teflon® tape on cylinder or tube fitting connections which have metal to metal face seals or gasket seals
13. Do not allow oil or grease to contact cylinders or their valves, especially when they contain oxidizing gases

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