Compressed Gas Cylinders
Compressed gases are widely used for various applications in academic and research laboratories, as well as maintenance workshops at KFUPM. Compressed gas cylinders pose hazards such as fire & explosion, toxicity, oxygen displacement, and physical hazards of a ruptured cylinder. Hence, it is very important to follow standard guidelines while using, handling, and storing the compressed gas cylinders in labs and workshops.
Safe Usage and Handling:
- Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) for all the compressed gases must be available as a reference for the staff.
- Compressed gas cylinders must be clearly labeled with its contents.
- Do not accept or use any gas cylinder without a clear label, and without contents mentioned on it.
- Labels should be on the cylinders, and not on the caps, as the caps can be interchanged.
- Gas cylinders without label should be tagged as 'Contents Unknown", and returned to the supplier.
- Label the empty cylinders as "Empty" for identification.
- Do not rely on color-coding of the cylinders to identify the contents, as color codes vary from one supplier to the other.
- Secure all the gas cylinders with chains at all times to prevent tipping.
- Cylinder valves should be capped until they are securely connected for use.
- Cylinder valves should be kept close when not in use.
- Visually inspect the regulator valves, and hoses before using the cylinders.
- While opening the valve, position yourself such that valve outlet faces the other direction, and slowly open the valve.
- Use appropriate PPE while using compressed gases.
- Do not roll or drag the cylinders during transportation.
- Do not drop the cylinders on the floor, or strike them against any surface.
- Transport the cylinders by using a suitable hand truck/wheeled cart, equipped with chains/straps to secure them.
- Storage areas for compressed gas cylinders must be dry and well ventilated.
- Gas cylinders should not be stored in aisles, walkways, and near exits.
- Compressed gases must be grouped and stored as per their hazard class.
- Empty cylinders should be stored separately.
- Oxygen cylinders and flammable gas cylinders must be at least 20 feet of free space apart, or should have a 5 feet firewall partition having minimum half hour fire rating.
- Store the flammable gas cylinders in a well-ventilated area, away from open flames, and other sources of ignition.