Handling and Use of Gas Cylinders and Equipment
- When moving and storing cylinders, make sure the cylinder valves are closed, caps are on, and the space is dry. If acetylene is being used, properly ventilate. Tilt and roll on bottom edges. Avoid dropping. Cylinders must be secured in a vertical position.
- Remove regulators unless secured on a cylinder cart and have a 10 pound ABC rated fire extinguisher on cart. Remove regulators from oxygen/acetylene cutting assemblies/rigs unless properly secured on a cylinder cart. Note: Regulators are to be removed from the cylinders after use unless it can be determined that the cutting assembly/rig will be in use within the following twenty-four (24) hours.
- When hoisting cylinders, use pallet, cradle, or sling board. Do not use choker sling or magnet.
- When cutting or welding, protect cylinders from sparks, hot slag or flame by separating them, or use fire-resistant shields or blankets
- Use friction lighters (not matches, cigarettes, etc.) to light torches.
- When work is finished or cylinders are empty, make sure cylinder valves are closed and the caps are on the cylinders
- Store regulators, hoses, etc. in a clean, dry, well ventilated space.
- Oxygen and acetylene cylinders must be separated by a fire wall or a minimum of 20 feet when in storage.
- Flashback safety valves must be used on all hoses and lines at the gauges and manifolds.
Handling and Use Welding Equipment
- Only standard electric arc welding equipment such as generators, motor generator units, transformers, etc., conforming to the requirements of the National Electrical Manufacturer's Association or the Underwriters Laboratory, Inc., or both, should be used.
- All electric welding machines must be properly grounded, and all electrical cables inspected prior to use for damage, excess fraying and loose connections.
- Where it is necessary to couple several lengths of cable for use as a welding lead circuit, insulated connectors should be used on both the ground and positive lead. There must be no splices or connections within 10’ of the electrode holder (stinger).
- Wherever practicable, shield anyone in work area from the direct rays of the arc. Barricade hot material with a fire blanket or other non-combustible tarp.
- Regulators and gauges must only be repaired by qualified suppliers.
- Inspect the work area and look for potential hazards. Move combustibles within 35 feet of the work area away from the work area. If combustibles can't be moved, cover them with a non-combustible tarp. Make sure equipment is in good working order.
- Make sure a fire extinguisher is nearby. Post a fire watch if conditions warrant. Make sure a multi-rated dry chemical fire extinguisher is nearby. If aluminum, magnesium or other combustible metals are being welded, a Class D – Metals fire extinguisher needs to be directly available.
- Perform atmospheric testing if the potential exists for flammable gases or vapors in the work area. Also be aware of combustible dust (sawdust, aluminum chips etc.). Provide ventilation if needed. Perform periodic gas tests if needed. Perform atmospheric flammable/combustible gas test if needed
- Cover manholes, pits, sewers, doors, windows, wall cavities, floor openings and any other openings where it would be possible for a spark to fall and create a fire.
- Shield nearby workers from flash burn. Communicate fire, burn and flash burn hazards to them.
- Make sure you don't negatively affect other operations and equipment nearby.
- Make sure you know the location of the nearest phone and fire alarm pull station.
For additional information on the proper handling and use of compressed gas cylinders visit the Compressed Gas Cylinder web page.