Tips for Safe Handling of Industrial Gas Cylinders

Industrial gas cylinders have been widely used for medical purposes, welding, fermentation of liquids, and many other applications for a long time. Moreover, as there have been increasing applications for industrial gas cylinders, many industries are witnessing rapid development.

To limit the risk of serious injuries or even death, industrial gas cylinders must be stored, handled, and transported by following all the safety standards.

While various gases have distinct properties, they all have the same hazards when it comes to identification and handling. Storage involves a variety of concerns, ranging from the physical size of the metal cylinder to the volatile nature of the compressed gas within. This is why keeping gas cylinders upright without chains or cages, or without safety covers on their valves, can be extremely hazardous.

The following are the useful tips for safe handling of industrial gas cylinders:

  • Understand the Cylinder

    You should have complete knowledge of the risks associated with industrial gases. Understanding the properties of the gas within, such as toxicity, and flammability limitations are extremely important. You should also be familiar with the hazards involved with compressed gas at high pressure, low temperature, or due to its physical state. The contents of the label on the cylinder should be read by a professional.

  • Use Appropriate PPE

    You should use proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) while handling the industrial gas cylinders. The PPE includes gas masks, safety glasses, and safety shoes. When using acetylene cylinders in compressed air, it is mandatory to use flame arrestors.

  • Go for Proper Training

    You should get the required training before working with compressed cylinders. The training program will guide them on how to handle industrial cylinders during an emergency.

  • Ensure Cylinders are Stored Properly

    Gas cylinders should be kept vertically in a well-drained and well-ventilated place away from heat sources. Other items, notably combustible materials, should not be kept in a cylinder store. Full and empty cylinders should be stored separately and your supply should be rotated such that the oldest cylinders are utilised first.

  • Secure Cylinders while Transporting

    To prevent cylinders from rolling, straps and chocks should be used to secure them. Make sure the valves are covered so they won't be knocked open while moving. Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG), as well as liquefied gas cylinders, should be upright. If you have to move acetylene cylinders and can't avoid them lying down, make sure you keep them upright for at least 30 minutes before using them.

  • Use Required Handling Equipment

    It is important to use proper handling equipment while handling cylinder or transporting the industrial gas cylinder. Using Manifold Cylinder Pallets (MCPs) is a must while transporting individual cylinders. If the cylinder is transported to a new site, the trucks or containers used to carry it must utilise the appropriate Haz-chem code, Transport Emergency Cards (TREMcards), and Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) regardless of the cylinder's colour code.

Apart from the above-mentioned safety tips, you can also practice the points given below while handling the industrial gas cylinders:

  • Avoid storing the industrial cylinders for a long time.
  • Avoid rolling, dragging, and dropping cylinders while you are using them.
  • Never use a valve cover to elevate the cylinder.
  • During transportation, always keep the valve covers in place.
  • Purchase the gas cylinders in small quantities.

It is highly advisable to follow the safety measures and precautions while handling industrial gas cylinders to avoid various risks and hazards associated with them.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. What are the cylinder safety devices?

    There are three types of cylinder safety devices, namely safety or pressure relief valves, fusible plugs, and rupture discs.

  2. Why is proper ventilation necessary?

    Ventilation systems that are well-designed and well-maintained remove gases from the workplace and decrease their risks.

  3. How do I store compressed gas cylinders?

    Compressed gas cylinders can be stored in accordance with your workplace's occupational health, safety laws, and fire and building rules.

  4. What are the guidelines for safe handling and use of compressed cylinders?

    It is advisable to use a small size cylinder for a specific job. On a cylinder, do not create an electric arc. Arc burns can weaken the cylinder by making the metal brittle.

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