Compressed Gas Cylinders

Compressed gas cylinders contain varying pressures of inert, toxic, flammable, oxidizing, corrosive, or combinations of gases.  Care in using, handling, and storing compressed gas cylinders is required due to the high potential for severe incident. 

Know gas properties and hazards:  Understand the properties, uses, and safety precautions before using any gas or mixture.  Consult SDS and manufacturer specification sheets for safety information. 

Engineer, assemble, and check equipment properly:  Ensure that valves, manifolds, piping, lines, and other equipment is designed and rated for the full pressure and temperature range of operation.  Only use fittings as they are specified for by the manufacturer.  Inspect and leak check all equipment for using at full capacity. 

Utilize facilities engineering:  Gas cabinets, facilities exhaust, and fume hoods may be needed for ventilation.  Gas cylinder brackets, clamps, restraints and supports may be needed for storage.  Monitoring systems may be appropriate for highly hazardous gases. 

Wear PPE:  Wear suitable protective clothing and equipment.  Gloves, eye and face protection, and footwear may be warranted.  Some gases may require specialized safety equipment such as self-contained breathing apparatus, air-line respirators. 

Follow Regulations:  Follow all federal, state, and local regulations that apply to storage and use of compressed gas cylinders. 

 

 

General

Use on Campus

Compressed gas cylinders are used regularly in science and engineering buildings, machine shops, and retail and campus dining.  Researchers, staff, and outside contractors store and use various types of compressed gases for different reasons.  Researchers should contact their Department Managers when initially thinking of using compressed gas cylinders.  

Compressed Gas Hazard Classes

Inert  
Flammable  
Pyrophoric  
Oxidizing  
Toxic  
Corrosive  

Storage

  • Store cylinders secured to a stationary object or wall.  No more than two cylinders may be fastened by one strap. 
  • Store cylinders with safety caps in place.  Never insert foreign objects into the safety cap holes when trying to remove or close the cap. 
  • The various hazard classes must be segregated and stored in quantities dictated by International Fire Code New Jersey Edition 2006.  Contact EHS for assistance with compliance.  

Use

  • Use appropriate regulator, compatible manifold materials, and pressure rated tubing and piping for all applications. 
  • Consider margins of error for all temperature and pressure ratings on engineering.  
  • Wear safety glasses, faceshield, and appropriate gloves when manipulating pressurized systems.  
  • Never empty a cylinder to less than 25psi.  
  • Ensure that the valve is always accessible.  

Handling

  • Use a cylinder cart for transportation.  
  • Move cylinders with safety cap in place.