Safety Tips

Gas Cylinders

Safety Equation

A good working knowledge of cylinders combined with proper storage, good housekeeping, and fire prevention awareness equals a balanced safety equation. Add a daily dose of safety awareness and the chances of an accident, fire or injury will be greatly reduced.

Avoiding Ruptures

Stay alert and let others know if you see a problem or observe a dangerous procedure.

Remember: Extreme heat can cause gas in the cylinder to expand and could cause the cylinder to rupture.

Take care of the cylinder at all stages of handling. Guard it from equipment and other objects which may dent or puncture the tank.

Leaks

Check for leaks at cylinder valves, regulators, and connections. When testing for leaks, use soapy water (non-fat solution), approved test leak solution, or gas detection equipment Never use a flame.

If an uncontrolled leak occurs, shut off electrical power and call the fire department. Remove other ignition sources and leave the area.

Maintenance

Maintain all cylinders regularly - check for leaks each time a cylinder is used.

Also check:

Corrosive gas regulators weekly
Non-corrosive gas regulators monthly
The accuracy of regulator pressure gauges at least yearly

A static test should be done by an authorized agent before the expiry date on the cylinder. Only the supplier should make repairs to compressed gas cylinders.

Storage

Use a proper storage site. Legislation and procedures should be followed by the book:

Secure all the cylinders upright in a well ventilated area
Keep full and empty containers separate
Keep cylinders away from open flames, electric arcs, molten slag, sparks and radiators
Do not store in temperatures above 54 degrees Celsius
Oxygen and fuel gas cylinders must be at least 6 metres (20 feet) apart
Do not smoke near cylinders

Safety Lesson Checklist

Make sure the cylinder has a regulator and flashback device. If it doesn't - don't use it
Use the proper size wrench for attaching a regulator. Don't use a pipe wrench or pliers
Make sure all the connections are tight
Bond and ground all lines and equipment used with flammable gases
When opening a valve, always stand on the opposite side of the hose assembly and NOT in front of the valve
Leave key wrenches on cylinders in use so the cylinder can be closed quickly
Wear safety glasses and other required personal protective equipment (PPE)

Transporting Cylinders Safely

Many accidents occur when the wrong method is used when moving cylinders. Make sure you:

Use a trolley when moving a cylinder
Don't use chain, wire, or rubber slings to lift
Have clean hands and clothing so you don't lose your grip.
Avoid getting dirt and grease into the nozzle or valve
NEVER pick it up by the protection cap
Move the cylinders properly - with the caps on
If an acetylene bottle has been transported horizontally, place it in the upright position for a minimum of 30 minutes before use

Gas Leaks at Home

Home heating systems require regular maintenance. Have a professional come to your home and ensure that all gas lines are in good shape.

If you have any types of gas leaks in your home, call your local gas utility company.

Propane tanks for the barbecue or other cylinders should be "off limits" for younger family members. Remember to keep your propane tank out of direct sunlight.

Do you have any damaged cylinders around your home? Just like at work, have your cylinders tested by an authorized agent before expiry date.

Don't leave tanks around the house, in the basement, or in the garage. Store outside.

Remember- propane is heavier than air and natural gas is lighter than air.

Make good housekeeping and fire prevention a part of your home safety plan.

Proper Procedures

Compressed gas cylinders can be dangerous, explosive or just too heavy to handle.

Check up on the regulations for cylinders used in your area. Are they stored in the safest place?

Are any cylinders leaking? Are regular maintenance tests done? Check it out.

You and your co-workers can prevent an accident before it happens.

For more information, refer to current applicable Occupational Health and Safety Legislation.