Compressed gas cylinders are a common fixture in research laboratories. As such it is imperative to understand the safe handling, transportation, and use of compressed gas cylinders. Compressed gas is defined by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) per 29 CFR 1910.1200 as:
A gas or mixture of gases having, in a container, an absolute pressure exceeding 40 psi at 70 deg. F (21.1 deg. C); or a gas or mixture of gases having, in a container, an absolute pressure exceeding 104 psi at 130 deg. F (54.4 deg. C) regardless of the pressure at 70 deg. F (21.1 deg. C); or a liquid having a vapor pressure exceeding 40 psi at 100 deg. F (37.8 deg. C) as determined by ASTM D-323-72.
The broad definition provided by OSHA makes it difficult to cover all prudent practices concerning compressed gas safety. Therefore, the scope of this document will address compressed gas cylinders that are common in a laboratory environment. in the photo of today you will be familiar with the safe use and handling of compressed gas cylinders and lecture bottles with the free download of four posters
Also, Read: Compressed Gases Safety Tips
SAFE HANDLING AND USAGE
Most compressed gas cylinders, whether they are ultra-high purity or industrial grade, will be pressurized to around 2000 psi. This represents an enormous amount of potential energy. If the gas is released uncontrollably or over-pressurizes equipment, there is an immediate hazard to life and health. Furthermore, many compressed gas cylinders will contain flammable or toxic gas. Finally, the threat of asphyxiation due to oxygen displacement by the release of compressed gas must also be considered.
Always review manufacturers’ Safety Data Sheet (SDS) before using compressed gas for specific personal protective equipment, usage, and storage guidelines.
- When receiving compressed gases from the manufacturer or a distributor, record the prudent information in the OSU online chemical inventory that is part of the Chemical Safety Assistant.
- It is also good practice to record the general timeframe a cylinder will be used. This will help minimize cylinder rental fees and prevent the accumulation of unneeded cylinders.
- All compressed gas cylinders must be returned to the supplier when empty or no longer in use.
- Appropriately label empty cylinders as being empty.
Also Read: E-Books: Guidelines for Gas cylinders safety(Opens in a new browser tab)
- Cylinders must be secured with an appropriate strap or chain when in storage, transit, or use. Secure cylinders by firmly chaining or strapping them to a wall, lab bench, or other fixed support. See Figure 1.
- Valve protection caps must be in place during transit or storage. The only time the cap should be removed is while it’s being used.
- Cylinders must be stored in an upright position.
- Never allow storage temperature to exceed 125°F (52°C).
- Never permit smoking or open flames in oxidizer or flammable gas storage areas.
- Oxygen should be stored in an area that is at least 20 feet away from any flammable or combustible materials (including gases) or separated from combustibles by a non-combustible barrier at least 5 feet high and having a fire-resistance rating of at least 1/2 hour.
- Never expose cylinders to corrosive materials.
- Segregate full and empty cylinders.
- Store cylinders in a dry, cool, well-ventilated, secure area that is protected from the weather and away from combustible materials.
- Store cylinders away from heavily traveled areas and emergency exits.
- Visually inspect stored cylinders on a weekly basis for any indication of leakage or problems.
- Protect cylinders from the wet or damp ground.
Also Read: Workplace Housekeeping Checklist
- Never insert an object (e.g., wrench, screwdriver, etc.) into valve cap openings to remove a stuck cylinder cap. Doing so may damage or open the valve. Only use an adjustable strap wrench to remove over-tight or rusted protective caps.
- Cylinders should never be rolled or dragged. Only use hand carts specifically designed for moving compressed gas cylinders. Cylinders must be strapped or chained to the cart.
- Never allow any part of a cylinder to be exposed to temperatures exceeding 125°F (52°C).
- Do not use a cylinder that cannot be positively identified. Color coding is not a reliable way of identifying a cylinder because the colors can vary from supplier to supplier.
- Only tools provided by the cylinder supplier should be used to open or close a valve. At no time should pliers be used to open a cylinder valve.
- Regulators must be examined prior to connecting to the compressed gas cylinder. Ensure the regulator is rated for the pressure of the cylinder. Even if CGA connections are correct, the regulator may not be rated for the pressure of the cylinder.
- Never attempt to mix gases in a cylinder or return products to a cylinder.
- Never heat a cylinder to increase its pressure or withdrawal rate.
- Never refill the cylinder after use of the original contents.
- Never force cylinder valve connections that do not fit. Standard cylinder-valve outlet connections have been devised by the Compressed Gas Association (CGA).
- Never reduce the residual pressure of a cylinder below the operating pressure of the system or 25 psi, whichever is higher.
- The threads on cylinder valves, regulators, and other fittings should be examined to ensure they correspond are clean and undamaged.
- Orientate pressure relief devices so that it does not pose a hazard to personnel in the area when out-gassing.
- Regulators are gas specific and not necessarily interchangeable. Never use an adapter between the outlet valve of a cylinder and the regulator.
- Where the possibility of flow reversal exists, the cylinder discharge lines should be equipped with adequate check valves to prevent inadvertent contamination of the cylinder.
- Always use safety glasses (preferably a face shield) when handling and using compressed gases, especially when connecting and disconnecting compressed gas regulators and lines.
- After the regulator is attached, the cylinder valve should be slowly opened just enough to indicate pressure on the regulator gauge (no more than one full turn), and all the connections checked with a soap solution for leaks.
- For cylinders equipped with a stem valve, the valve spindle key should remain on the stem while the cylinder is in service.
- Never use oil or grease on the regulator or a cylinder valve.
- Oxygen cylinder valves should be opened all the way. Initially, open up the oxygen cylinder valve stem just a crack. Once the needle on the high-pressure gauge has stopped, open up the valve all the way. Completely opening the valve will seat the valve, which creates the required seal.
- Certain categories of toxic gases must be stored and used in ventilated enclosures. Note specific gases that require ventilated storage. Maximum allowable storage limits are given in Table 1.
Lecture bottles are small compressed gas cylinders, typically 12–18 inches (300– 460 mm) long and 1–3 inches (25–76 mm) in diameter. Lecture bottles present a significant hazard in the laboratory, and are comprised of hazardous or toxic gasses that are either not available or considered unfeasible to pose in larger amounts. Most of the aforementioned practices that are applied to larger compressed gas cylinders also apply to lecture bottles. Below are some special considerations when utilizing lecture bottles.
- Especially hazardous lecture bottles may require ventilated storage in a gas cabinet or exhausted enclosure. Refer to Table 1 for storage guidelines.
- Designated areas should be assigned in the lab for lecture bottle storage. Areas should be labeled for lecture bottle storage according to hazard class. Due to the small nature of lecture bottles, they are often stored in random areas which makes them easily misplaced.
- Outdated lecture bottles containing corrosive gas pose a significant explosion hazard.
- Store lecture bottles upright and segregated according to hazard class.
- Remove regulators and replace protective caps or plugs when lecture bottles are not in use.
- Lecture bottles must be properly secured during use, and lecture bottles containing hazardous gases (corrosive or poison) must be used in a fume hood or gas cabinet.
- Lecture bottles must be properly labeled. Re-label the lecture bottle if the label becomes illegible or falls off. It is a good idea to also label the regulator with the gas it was last used for to prevent accidental misuse in the future.
- When purchasing lecture bottles, the manufacturer’s return policy should be considered. The disposal cost of a lecture bottle may exceed the difference in the purchase price. It is best to purchase lecture bottles from vendors that will allow the return of the bottle.
- Inspect the lecture bottle and regulator prior to use. Never use lecture bottles or regulators that are damaged or corroded.
Safety Gas Cylinders Posters
Safe Handling of Gas cylinders & Lecture Bottles
Do Not overfill A Gas cylinder
Never Alter the color or marking of a Gas cylinder
Storage of Gas cylinders is prohibited in the hot work area
Download the Infographic
Now you can download the Infographic ” Safe handling of Gas Cylinders and lecture bottles” and post it at the workplace to communicate with everyone to be familiar with the Safe Handling of Gas cylinders and avoid workplace incidents.
Photo of the day: Safe handling of Gas Cylinders and lecture bottles
Download more resources at SAFETY BAG
- Photo of the day: Preventing slips and trips at work
- Photo of the day: Learn the DRSABCD action Plan
- Working with Electricity Electrical Accidents Guide for Electrical Workers
- Photo of the day: Hearing Protection Device Selection
- Photo of the day: If An Earthquake Shakes You-Infographic free
- Fire Safety Posters Free Download
- Photo of the day: First Aid for Electrical Burns-Infographic free
- Infographic: First Aid for Cuts and Scrapes free download
- Photo of The day: Work Safe with Lasers-Laser Safety free
- Photo of the day: Working Safely with chemicals and chemical Management
- Photo of the day: Safe work practices when using MEWPs ( updated)
- Photo of the day: Preventing Common Kitchen Hazards
- Photo of the day: Safe handling of Gas Cylinders and lecture bottles
- Photo of the day: Forklift Stability Triangle
- Photo of the day: Defective Tools Safe Work Practice
- Photo of the day: Lift With Your Legs Not With Your Back
- Photo of the day: First Aid for burns
- Photo of the day: The 7 Principles of HACCP
- Photo of the day: Working Safely with Suspended Loads
- Photo of the day: Heat Stroke First Aid and safety posters
- Photo of the day: Near-Miss Reporting and Posters
- Photo of the day: Ergonomic chair and office chair safety tips
- Photo of the day: Whole Body Vibration
- Photo of the day: Substation Safety Equipment
- Photo of the day: Bypassing Safety Controls Rules
- Photo of the day: Lightning Safety Tips
- Photo of the day: Overhead Power lines Clearance
- Photo of the day: Floor Marking
- Photo of the day: Types of Foot Protection
- Photo of the day: Types of Hand Protection
- Photo of the day: Lockout and Tagout Safety
- Photo of the day: Fall Protection Plans
- Photo of the day: Flood Safety Tips
- Photo of the day: Read All Labels Work safe
- Photo of the day: Run Project safely with Crane Hand Signals
- Photo of the day: Flagman and Traffic control
- Photo of the day: Managing Risks of Exposure to Solvents in the workplace
- Photo of the day: Scissor Lift Safety
- Photo of the day: HSE Bulletin Board
- Photo of the day: Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCI)
- Photo of the day: Safe use of ladders and step ladders
- Photo of the day: Concrete Truck Driver Hand Signals
- Photo of the day: Extension Cord Safety Tips
- Photo of the day: Protect your Head
- Photo of the day: choosing the right Anchorage
- Photo of the day: Work-Related Asthma
- Photo of the day: Top FIVE Heavy Equipment Construction Site Safety Tips
- Photo of the day: sun safety in the workplace
- Photo of the day: Cannabis and Impairment in the Workplace
- Photo of the day: Position for safety and comfort-Safety Tips
- Photo of the day: Generator Safety
- Photo of the day: Controlling COVID-19 in the Workplace-Physical Barriers
- Photo of the day: Manual Material handling
- Photo of the day: Personal Protective Equipment last resort
- Photo of the day: WHMIS 2015 – Pictograms
- Photo of the day: Indoor Air Quality
- Photo of the day: Noise in the affected workplace
- Photo of the day: Fatigue at Work
- Photo of the day: Don’t be Driven to Distraction
- Photo of the day: working in heat and Humidex Rating
- How to use Plate Clamps Safely: Safety Moment#34
- Photo of the day: Sitting at work
- Photo of the day: 5 ways to reduce the risk of Slipping and Tripping
- Photo of the day: Preventing the spread of contagious illness
- Photo of the day: Incident Investigations
- Photo of the day: 10 Scaffold Safety Essentials
- Photo of the day: Effective Health and Safety Committees
- Photo of the day: New worker Orientation & Safety Orientation checklist
- Photo of the day: Workplace Inspection
- Photo of the day: musculoskeletal disorders
- Photo of the day: Emergency preparedness in the workplace
- Photo of the day: Mental health in the workplace
- Photo of the day: Trenching Safety Tips That Can Save a Life
- Photo of the day: Dangerous Goods Classes
- Photo of the day: Safety Equipment for Confined Spaces
- Photo of the day: Tips to reduce Heat stress in the workplace
- Photo of the day: hierarchy of controls
- Your steps to chemical safety
- H2S Gas and how to handle its Emergency
- Photo of the day: Importance of Mock drill and Fire Action Emergency Procedure
- Photo of the day: Choosing the Right Face Mask and the difference between a respirator and face mask
- Photo of the day: Confined space safety Precautions
- Breath Safely: The Proper Use of Respiratory Protection
- Photo of the day: Electric shock survival
- Photo of the day: Chemical Spill Emergency Response
- Photo of the day: Construction Site fire Safety
- Photo of the day: Confined Space rescue
- Photo of the day: Conveyors Safety Tips
- Photo of the day: 5 Essential outcomes of an effective leadership survey process
- Photo of the day: Safe Lifting at work
- Photo of the day: 5 Ways to Reinforce Commuting With Positive Reinforcement
- Photo of the day: Eyes on the Road The challenges of safe driving
- Photo of the day: Overhead powerline safety