At the end of this module, you will be able to:
- Describe compressed gas cylinders
- Identify how compressed gas cylinders are used
- List potential hazards of compressed gas cylinders
- Identify best practices for storing compressed gas cylinders
- Describe how to transport compressed gas cylinders
The following key questions are answered in this module:
What OSHA regulations deal with compressed gas and compressed gas cylinders?
Quite a few, actually. Check this list on OSHA's Compressed Gas and Equipment Safety and Health Topic page.
What are some common hazards associated with compressed gas cylinders?
Fires, explosions, exposure to toxic gases, and the displacement of oxygen, struck-by injuries, and crushing injuries are the most commonly recorded compressed gas cylinder safety incidents.
What kind of hazards might gases inside the cylinders cause?
They might be flammable, combustible, explosive, poisonous, acidic, reactive, and they may displace oxygen. In addition, some gases may be more than one of these.
Can a compressed gas cylinder fly like a missile in some circumstances?
Yes, if the cylinder is damaged, the gases may propel the cylinder through the air for great distances, and even through walls. Our Compressed Gas Cylinder Safety video offers a pretty striking visualization of this.
What is the best way to be safe when working around or with compressed gas cylinders?
Receive proper training, be aware of the hazards, and use safe work practices for storage, transportation, installation, and use.
Below is a transcript of the video sample provided for this module:
When a typical cylinder is filled to its designed pressure of 2,400 psi, it will contain almost 300 cubic feet of atmospheric pressure gas or about 160 times the internal volume of the cylinder. This compression of gas represents a tremendous amount of stored energy. If the outlet valve is broken off, the sudden release of compressed gas can turn the cylinder into a missile with energy to shoot through a cinder block wall. In one reported incident, a damaged cylinder penetrated two sheet metal walls, before becoming airborne and exiting through the roof. The tank reached an altitude of 140 feet before falling back through the building's roof a second time. When a steel cylinder becomes a projectile, it can move with great force, at high speeds, and in unpredictable directions with a potential to cause serious or fatal injuries.
Use the additional resources and links below to learn more about this topic:
- U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) – www.osha.gov
- OSHA Safety and Health Topics - https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/compressedgasequipment/index.html
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) – www.cdc.gov/niosh/
- NIOSH Publications - http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2004-101/chklists/r1n29c~1.htm
- American Compressed Gases – www.americancompressedgas.com
- American Compressed Gases Safety - http://americancompressedgas.com/pages.php?page=safety