Follow these safe work guidelines to protect yourself and others when working with compressed gas cylinders.
- Use a cylinder cart and secure cylinders with a chain.
- Don’t use the protective valve caps for moving or lifting cylinders.
- Don’t drop a cylinder, or permit them to strike each other violently or be handled roughly.
- Unless cylinders are secured on a special cart, regulators shall be removed, valves closed and protective valve caps in place before cylinders are moved.
Use and Storage of Cylinders
- Be sure all connections are tight. Use soapy water to locate leaks, never use a flame.
- Keep cylinders valves, regulators, couplings, hoses and apparatuses clean and free of oil and grease.
- Keep cylinders away from open flames, sparks and sources of heat. Propane cylinders should be at least 8 feet away from the portable heaters they supply.
- Don’t tamper with safety devices and valves, nor attempt to repair them.
- Use flashback arrestors and reverse-flow check valves to prevent flashback when using oxy-fuel systems.
- Remove regulators when moving cylinders, when work is completed, and when cylinders are empty.
- Only use cylinders in an upright position and in a well-ventilated area.
- The cylinder valve should always be opened slowly. Always stand away from the face and back of the gauge when opening the cylinder valve.
- When a special wrench is required to open a cylinder or manifold valve, the wrench must be left in place on the valve stem when in use; this precaution is taken so the gas supply can be shut off quickly in case of an emergency; don’t place anything on top of a cylinder that may damage the safety device or interfere with the quick closing of the valve.
- Fire extinguishing equipment should be readily available when combustible materials can be exposed to welding or cutting operations using compressed gases.
- Store cylinders upright and secure them to a stable object; separate full and empty cylinders.
- Store oxygen cylinders at least 20-ft. away from flammable and combustible substances/gases.
What 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 force improper attachments onto the wrong cylinder.
- Never grease or oil the regulator, valve, or fittings of an oxygen cylinder.
- Never refill a cylinder.
- Never attempt to mix gases in a cylinder.
- Never discard pressurized cylinders in the normal trash.