Hellman & Associates

Compressed Gas

Follow these safe work guidelines to protect yourself and others when working with compressed gas cylinders.

Moving 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.