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Compressed Gas Cylinder Safety. Environmental Health & Safety Chemical Safety Division University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Classification of Gas Cylinders. Flammable Gasses Oxygen and Oxidizing Gases Acid and Alkaline Gases Highly Toxic Gases

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compressed gas cylinder safety

Compressed Gas Cylinder Safety

Environmental Health & Safety

Chemical Safety Division

University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio


Classification of Gas Cylinders

  • Flammable Gasses
  • Oxygen and Oxidizing Gases
  • Acid and Alkaline Gases
  • Highly Toxic Gases
  • Cryogenic Liquefied Gases
  • Inert Gases
segregation of gas cylinders
Segregation of Gas Cylinders
  • Flammables
    • Methane, Propane, Hydrogen
  • Reactive
    • Acetylene, Vinyl Chloride, Tetrafluoroethylene
  • Oxidizers
    • Hydrazine, Hydrogen
  • Corrosives
    • Ammonia, Methylamine, Chlorine
  • Oxygen and nitrous oxide cylinders must be separated from flammables by minimum of 20 feet.
identification of contents of compressed gas cylinders
Identification of Contents of Compressed Gas Cylinders
  • Clearly label all cylinders
  • Labels should be durable
  • Do not accept cylinders that are not clearly labeled
  • Color-coding is not a reliable means of identification
    • Cylinder colors vary from supplier to supplier
  • If cylinder contents cannot be identified:
    • Mark as “Contents Unknown”
    • Contact the manufacturer
transporting gas cylinders
Transporting Gas Cylinders
  • A cylinder cart should always be used
    • Do not roll, drag, or slide cylinders
  • Transport cylinders with valve caps
    • Do not lift cylinders by the cap
  • Do not transport with the regulator attached
  • Cylinders must be fastened securely in

upright position

storage of compressed gas cylinders
Storage of Compressed Gas Cylinders
  • Properly secure at all times
    • Straps, belts, or chains
  • Keep valve caps on unless the cylinder

is being used

  • Store in a well ventilated area
    • Keep away from heat or ignition sources
    • Keep away from electrical circuits
  • Segregate Oxygen cylinders (empty or full) from fuel-gas cylinders and combustible materials
    • 20 feet minimum distance
  • Store flammable gas cylinders away from oxygen, nitrous oxide cylinders, or oxygen charging facilities.
  • Segregate full and empty cylinders
    • Label empty cylinders to prevent confusion
    • Empty cylinders should be returned to Central Receiving/Vendor
use of compressed gas cylinders
Use of Compressed Gas Cylinders
  • Always use the proper regulator for the gas in the cylinder
  • Do not allow oil or grease to come in

contact with cylinders or valves

  • Attach the regulator securely before

opening the valve

  • Open the cylinder valves SLOWLY; stand to the side of regulator when opening valve
  • Do not attempt to repair cylinder valves while a cylinder contains gas pressure
things not to do
Things Not To Do
  • Never roll a cylinder to move it.
  • Never carry a cylinder by the valve.
  • Never leave an open cylinder unattended.
  • Never leave a cylinder unsecured.
  • Never grease or oil the regulator, valve, or fittings of an oxygen cylinder.
  • Never refill a cylinder.
  • Never use a flame to locate gas leaks.
  • Never attempt to mix gasses in a cylinder.
things to remember
Things to Remember
  • Always wear eye protection when working with

compressed gases

  • Only use regulators that have both high and low

pressure gauges

  • Never refill a cylinder or use a cylinder for

storing any material.

  • The greatest hazard to a user of compressed gases is asphyxiation
  • Remember, except for oxygen and air, ALL GAS


  • Environmental Health & Safety


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