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Safety Tips

Safe handling of compressed cylinders

March 1, 2012

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Misusing, abusing or mishandling compressed gas cylinders can create a significant hazard. A worker who is assigned to handle cylinders under pressure must be properly trained and monitored. The National Safety Council advocates the following practices to ensure safe handling of compressed gas cylinders:

  • Only accept cylinders that have been approved for transporting.
  • Protect compressed air cylinders from cuts and scrapes.
  • Consult the supplier if there are any doubts about handling the gas.
  • Handle all cylinders with care and assume that each tank is full.
  • Employees should never drop cylinders or allow two or more of them to strike each other.
  • Proper protective equipment must be worn at all times.
  • Store cylinders with care and follow all safety guidelines. Keep oxidizers away from flammable gases.
  • Tanks should not be used for other purposes, such as rollers or supports.
  • Clearly mark “empty” or “MT” on all tankers to be returned to vendors with chalk and close the valves and replace all cylinders designed for protection caps.
  • If on a construction site and cylinders must be handled, place them in a cradle or on a suitable platform. Do not lift cylinders using electromagnets.
  • When transporting cylinders, ensure they are loaded in a way that allows as little movement as possible, and secure them to prevent them from banging together or falling over.

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