Safe Practice in Using Cylinders

Safe Practice in Using Cylinders

  • Before connecting a regulator, stand to one side, and momentarily open the valve and then close it immediately. This procedure, called cracking the valve, is done to clear the valve of dust or dirt that could enter the regulator.
  • Open valves slowly by hand to avoid gauge damage. If a specific tool is required to open the valve, leave it in position so that the flow of gas can be stopped quickly in an emergency.
  • Close the gas cylinder valves when not in use such as during breaks (Figure 1.1), lunch, or end-of-shift to avoid leaks. When cylinders are not in use their protective caps must be in place.
  • Only oxygen regulators labeled for oxygen gas may be used with oxygen. Using a regulator labeled for a different gas could result in a fire or explosion. If an oxygen regulator has been used with another gas it must never be used again with an oxygen cylinder unless it has been serviced and declared safe.
  • Avoid getting any oil or grease on the cylinders or regulators/gauges, particularly those containing oxygen, to avoid fire or explosion.
  • Cylinders should only be transported on purpose designed trolleys of the correct size (Figure 1-2). Three wheeled trolleys are safer than two wheeled. Do not attempt to lift cylinder by its valve or cap.
  • Cylinders should normally be stored in a secure well ventilated enclosure and capable of protecting the cylinders against extreme temperatures, the weather, and physical damage.
  • The door or gate must be kept locked when not in use. Used cylinders must be separately stored from ones containing gas.
  • The enclosures must be properly labelled. The best internal location is against or near to an external wall. This is particularly true of flammable or explosive gases. Cylinders must always be secured to a wall, suitable furniture or trolley, it must always be firmly secured and never left unsupported.
  • Oxygen cylinders must secured in the upright position by a chain or bracket and must be at least 25 feet away from combustible or flammable materials.
  • Extra cylinders must never be stored in the operating room.
  • A sign must be posted outside the storage enclosures indicating what gases are stored inside.
  • Chemical fire extinguishing equipment must be located near the storage enclosures with clear instructions how to operate these extinguishers in case of an emergency.
  • If cylinders are leaking, isolate them outdoors and away from sparks or heat. Tag leaking cylinders. Call your gas supplier to send qualified people to take care of the problem - don't try any repairs yourself.
Last modified: Tuesday, 15 November 2016, 4:20 PM