May 27, 2019
Gas bottles, gas tanks, or gas cylinders are widely used in various industrial applications. That’s why proper safety handling is important when receiving, handling, and disposing of gas bottles. As soon as a new gas bottle is received, you need to inspect it thoroughly to make sure it is safe to use.
In this post, you’ll learn some important things to consider when handling gas bottles safely.
Identification Gas Safety Markers
According to the United States Occupational Safety and Health Agency or OSHA and the Department of Transportation or DOT, all compressed gases should be labeled. As soon as you receive or use a new gas bottle, you need to check the safety markers to ensure that you don’t have a defective or poor-quality gas tank.
Reject gas cylinders without complete identification, test date, cap, and markings. Each gas tank should be marked by a tag or label with the list of contents stamped or stenciled on the bottle. Also, reject those with inoperable or rusted caps, and if you notice signs of leakage or damage. Safety precautions should be carried out when storing gas cylinders, such as labeling them with appropriate dates and using high-quality gas bottle storage cages.
Here are some tips when checking for safety markers of gas bottles:
- Never accept cylinders without the right labels.
- Don’t ever rely on the color of the gas cylinder for identification because it may vary depending on the gas tank supplier.
- All gas lines from a compressed gas should be clearly labeled to identify the gas quickly.
- Mark an empty cylinder and separate it from full bottles.
- Storage areas should be prominently posted with the name and the hazard class of the gases stored.
Industrial settings involve using oil and natural gas, and safe handling practices should be a priority. When you’re handling and transporting gas cylinders in industrial settings, you have to move or transport using a suitable cart or hand truck. Gas bottles should be used, stored, and transported in an upright position with the valve on top. The gas tank should be securely fastened or supported by chains, straps, stands, or racks to avoid falling or from being knocked over.
Here are the other safety gas cylinder handling practices that should be followed at all times:
- Never drop, strike, or bang gas tanks against each other or onto other objects.
- Before moving the gas bottle, you need to remove the regulator and place the valve protection.
- Never move or lift the gas bottle by the cap.
- Handle one gas bottle at a time unless you will use a two-cylinder cart and a chain restrains each tank.
- The cap of a gas bottle should be hand-tight, and it’s not good to forcibly open it.
- Don’t use a gas tank without a regulator with compatible valve fittings.
- Don’t stop the leak between the regulator and cylinder by tightening the nut unless you close it first.
- Don’t use adapters to fit regulators to valves or valves to cylinders.
Gas bottles have high internal pressure that creates projectiles if incorrectly stored, causing valve damage. Leaking gas cylinders or gas spills create an oxygen-deficient atmosphere and atmospheric hazard. Because of the hazards involved with gas cylinders, you need to store gas tanks properly.
Here are some safety tips when storing gas bottles:
- Gas bottle storage areas should be prominently marked, such as “No Smoking” and “Flammable” signs.
- If different types of gases are stored in one location, group the gas bottles according to the kind of gas, such as corrosive, oxidizer, or flammable.
- Use gas cylinders following the “first in, first out” rule.
- Store gas bottles in an area with proper ventilation, away from flames, sparks, or any source of ignition or heat.
- Gas cylinders containing acetylene, hydrogen or other flammable gases should not be stored near open flames or areas where electrical sparks or ignition are generated.
- Restrain or fasten the upper half of the gas bottle above the center of gravity.
- Don’t store oily or greasy materials around oxygen tanks, and fittings should not be oiled or greased.
- Make sure that storage areas are well-drained, dry, and ventilated.
- Don’t expose gas cylinders to 125 degrees Fahrenheit and above.
- Gas bottles shouldn’t be stored near corrosive chemicals, salt, or fumes. Don’t expose gas tanks to continuous dampness.
- Never store gas bottles in corridors, stairways, elevator lobbies, or paths of egress, which could obstruct a safe exit.
If you are working in an industrial setting or you have an industrial business, it’s important to consider the safety markers, safe handling, and proper storage of gas bottles or gas cylinders. By following the tips above, you’ll reduce the risk of fire and other types of gas-related accidents.