Handling & Storage of Compressed Gas Cylinders
Compressed gas cylinders, whether containing 'air', oxygen or acetylene, can all be a safety hazard if not handled with care. First, are all cylinders legibly marked to clearly identify the gas contained? Cylinders should always be considered full and handled accordingly. Handling cylinders is a two-man job. Request help when moving gas to avoid sliding, rolling, or dragging cylinders, which can damage the tank, the valve, and creating a tripping and fall hazard. When handling oxygen cylinders, keep them free from oil and grease and also keep your gloves clean. Always keep the cap on when the gas is not in use.
Stored cylinders must also be handled properly. Never store empties and fulls together. Store them where they will not be damaged by passing or falling objects or tampered with by unauthorized personnel. Mark cylinders when they are empty and never try to refill or transfer gas to an empty cylinder. Cylinders must be fastened securely so that they do not fall over or are easily dislodged, use a chain or holder. Storage areas should be out of the sun and also in an area that they do not come into contact with salt, corrosive chemicals, or electrical hazards. You don't want them to become part of an electrical circuit! Acetylene must be stored in an upright position.
Always be safe when handling compressed gas cylinders. Extra care should be taken to avoid damaging the cap or valves. If you are unsure about the safety of a cylinder, take it out of service and/ or notify your supplier. Your safety is in your hands when handling compressed gas cylinders.