Compressed Gases may Represent a Hazard because they can be
- An Asphyxiant (inert)
- An Oxidizer
- Under Pressure
- Or a combination of two or more of these properties
General Safe Handling Rules for Compressed Gas Containers
The labels applied by the gas supplier to identify the container contents should not be removed or defaced until the container is empty.
Color shall not be used to identify container content. Different colored markings do not necessarily indicate incompatible materials. Instead, the primary identifier is the container label.
The users are responsible for the safe use of the container and its contents. The following precautions concerning the container and its apparatus shall be observed:
- Maintenance of the container and its valve shall be performed only by trained personnel
- Prescribed markings on the container shall be kept in legible condition. The user shall not add, remove, or alter any of the markings
- The user shall not modify, tamper with, paint, deface, obstruct, remove, or repair any part of the cylinder, including the pressure relief device and the container valve or the valve protection device.
- Contamination can occur when foreign substances enter the container or valve. If this has happened or even if the possibility exists, the user shall identify and clearly mark the container and notify the gas supplier of the details of the contamination including the container serial number.
Compressed gas cylinders should not be rolled in the horizontal position or dragged. Use a hand truck with the container properly secured or something similar to move the container safely.
Cylinders shall not be used for any other purpose other than to contain and use the contents as received
Containers shall not be placed where they might become part of an electrical circuit.
Containers shall not be exposed to temperature extremes.
When a container or valve is noticeably corroded, notify the gas supplier and follow their instructions.
The following rules should always be followed in regards to piping (taken from the Oklahoma State University website listed below)
- Copper piping shall not be used for acetylene.
- Plastic piping shall not be used for any portion of a high pressure system.
- Do not use cast iron pipe for chlorine.
- Do not conceal distribution lines where a high concentration of a leaking hazardous gas can build up and cause an accident.
- Distribution lines and their outlets should be clearly labeled as to the type of gas contained.
- Piping systems should be inspected for leaks on a regular basis.
- Special attention should be given to fittings as well as possible cracks that may have developed.