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Compressed Gas Safety Resource List

Compressed Gas Safety Resource List

What is a compressed gas?

In general, "compressed gas" is typically defined as, 'a mixture of gases having, in a container, an absolute pressure exceeding 40 psi at 70 deg. F' (21.1 deg. C); or 'a gas or mixture of gases having, in a container, an absolute pressure exceeding 104 psi at 130 deg. F (54.4 deg. C) regardless of the pressure at 70 deg. F' (21.1 deg. C).

Because many hazards are commonly associated when working in and around compressed gases; these hazards can include oxygen displacement, fires, explosions, toxic gas exposure, and physical hazards when working near high pressure systems. Because of these hazards, many standards have been put in place in order to mitigate injury from occurring and provide awareness to the hazards associated with compressed gases, equipment, control, and handling.

At CO2Meter we are fortunate to have forged great partner relationships with gas suppliers, corporations, and associations like the Compressed Gas Association (CGA); whom all stand by carbon dioxide safety as a key component to the services and standards that they offer.

And, when we think about key players when it comes to compressed gases, no association puts greater emphasis on the development and promotion of safety standards in the industry than the Compressed Gas Association. For more than 100 years, the CGA has continued to help promote, develop, and train individuals around the world on compressed gas safety and compliance.

The team at CO2Meter has been more than fortunate to partner with the CGA in getting the gas safety messaging out in the public realm as well as sharing valuable tools to our customers. 

Below, we have highlighted a few of the main Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards and CGA references as they relate to compressed gas, safety, and equipment protocols.

Common Compressed Gas Standards

 Industry: Standards: Additional Resources:
1910 Subpart H - Hazardous Materials

1910.101, Compressed gases (general requirements)

1910.104, Oxygen.

Related Information
1910 Subpart M - Compressed Gas and Compressed Air Equipment 1910.169, Air receivers. Related Information
1910 Subpart Q - Welding, Cutting and Brazing

1910.253, Oxygen-fuel gas welding and cutting.

1910.254, Arc welding and cutting.

Related Information
1910 Subpart T - Commercial Diving Operations

1910.430, Equipment.

Related Information

 

 How to safely handle compressed gas cylinders?

Aside from compressed gas standards and regulations, compressed gas cylinders are also used in order to store flammable or inert gases. Many of these cylinders are often stored at extremely high pressures (up to 2,500 pounds per square inch gauge or PSIG). 

With the high pressure comes  a sudden release of these gases which can cause a small cylinder to projectile and if handled improperly can create extreme unsafe scenarios.

Here's a list of quick hazards often associated with gas cylinders and storage:

  • Weight: If cylinders fall or roll, their weight can trigger a hazard, do damage, and injure or even kill workers.
  • Threatening contents: Within compressed gas cylinders may be threatening contents that are flammable, explosive, or corrosive.
  • Projectile potential: Because compressed gas cylinders are pressurized, projectile potential is a concern. For example, if a valve breaks off or a regulator becomes detached, they can be projected across work environments, flying at dangerous speeds and harming those in their path.

 OSHA Compressed Gas Cylinder Storage Guide

Here are the OSHA compressed gas cylinder storage tips:

  • Keep the tanks away from the sun, flames, sparks, and areas that reach and exceed 125 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Include firewalls for cylinders with contents that pose different types of hazards. (Oxidizers should not rest within twenty feet of gases which are flammable.) Separate the cylinders or opt for the wall.
  • Store acetylene cylinders upright always. The contents are unstable. If left on its side, the liquid acetone might leak out through the tank’s valve. This is a fire hazard.
  • Never use copper tubing or fittings with acetylene cylinders.
  • Cylinders should be secured so that they can’t cause injury or damage surrounding machinery. Use guards, chains, straps, or “dog bones” to avoid rolling or tipping cylinders. The weight of the cylinders should not exceed the max limit of any of these securing devices.
  • Do not remove the cylinder’s cap without the tank being secure.

How to maintain compressed gas cylinders:

  • All cylinders should be properly marked to identify the contents.
  • Make sure valve protection caps are in place.
  • If cylinders are leaking, take them outdoors away from sparks or heat and slowly empty them.
  • Make sure to mark all empty cylinders (some companies use "MT").
  • Put a warning tag on cylinders that were leaking and notify the supplier.

Other precautions and DON'TS:

  •  Never mix gases in a cylinder or try to refill a compressed gas cylinder (best practice suggests contacting the supplier).
  • If a cylinder leaks or a valve is broken, tag the cylinder and contact a trained maintenance person or the supplier.
  • NEVER smoke around ANY compressed gas cylinder(s).
  • Don't use the top of the cylinder as a storage area for tools or material.

Compressed Gas Safety for Individual Gases

Ammonia

Argon

Carbon Dioxide 

Carbon Monoxide

Helium

Hydrogen

Oxygen

Additional Flammable and Compressed Gas Resources:

Whether your company has just received a visit from a compliance officer or you are setting up a new facility, it's important to understand how to handle compressed gas cylinders and the safety precautions to take.

While each type of compressed gas has its own hazards, it is vital to understand that you should always read the label on the cylinder and the material safety sheet (MSDS) for specific safety instructions and information.

For more information on gas safety, monitoring, and training - reach a CO2Meter specialist at Sales@CO2Meter.com or (877) 678 - 4259.


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