Portable Compressed Gas Containers
[Instructor to present talk near portable compressed gas containers.]
Improperly used, transported or stored compressed gas containers can take off and explode like rockets. But fire and explosion aren’t the only hazards with compressed gas containers.
Leaking gas can make you sick and even cause coma and death.
Leaking oxygen cylinders can also create an oxygen-rich environment, which could result in accelerated fires or explosions.
Compressed gas containers are heavy and awkward to handle.
But construction would be impossible without compressed gas. So we have to know how to transport, store and use compressed gas containers safely.
First of all, learn to recognize the hazard symbol for compressed gas.
Containers must be labelled with their contents and handling instructions.
Read the WHMIS label for each of the different containers you use.
Don’t accept or use any container that’s not properly labelled.
Handle compressed gas containers safely:
- Keep containers upright when transported, stored or used.
- Remove gauges and other attachments before moving containers.
- Move containers on a hand truck or dolly. Never roll containers or hoist them by their collars. Use a hoisting cradle to lift and lower containers from level to level. Never use a magnet or sling for hoisting.
- Never drag, slide or subject containers to rough handling.
- Never drop containers or let them bang into each other.
- Never transport containers in the trunk of a car or in a closed van. Leaking gas can collect in these confined spaces and create a risk of explosion or asphyxiation.
- Secure containers in use with rope, wire or chain to keep them upright.
- Store compressed gas containers:
- Preferably outdoors.
- In well-ventilated and dry areas.
- With containers grouped by type of gas.
- Where they won’t be struck by falling materials or moving equipment.
- Away from heat and ignition sources, flammable materials and areas such as elevators and traffic routes, where they can be knocked over or damaged.
- Keep empty and full containers separate from each other.
- Chalk EMPTY or MT on containers to be returned to the supplier. Close valves and replace protective caps.
- If you have any doubt about the content or the condition of a cylinder, talk to your supervisor or safety staff.
[Instructor to review labels. Check containers on site for proper storage and use. Inspect sample container and valve system for damage, leaks, and wear.]
In New Brunswick, the law on portable compressed gas containers can be found in General Regulation 91-191 under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, sections 74-79.