Cylinder Handling and Storage

1. Handling Cylinders

a) Valve protection caps shall be in place and secured. 

b) When cylinders are hoisted, they shall be secured on a cradle, sling board or a pallet. They shall not be hoisted or transported by means of magnets or chocker slings. 

c) Cylinders shall be moved by tilting and using a handcart to transport.  Cylinders shall be firmly secured. They shall not be intentionally dropped, struck or permitted to strike each other violently. 

d) When cylinders are transported by powered vehicles, they shall be secured in a vertical position. 

e) Valve protection caps shall not be used for lifting cylinders from one vertical position to another. Bars shall not be used under valves or valve protection caps to pry cylinders loose. Warm, not boiling water shall be used to thaw cylinders loose. 

f) Unless cylinders are firmly secured on a special carrier intended for this purpose, regulators shall be removed and valve protection caps put in place before cylinders are moved. 

g) A suitable cylinder truck, chain or other steadying device shall be used to keep cylinders from being knocked over while in use. 

h) When work is finished, when cylinders are empty or when cylinders are moved at any time, the cylinder valve shall be closed. 

i) Compressed gas cylinder shall be secured in an upright position at all times except, if necessary, for a short period of time while cylinders are actually being hoisted or carried. 

j) Compressed gas cylinders shall be legible marked for the purpose of identifying the gas content, with either the chemical or the trade name of the gas. Such marking shall be by means of stenciling, stamping or labeling and shall not be readily removable. 

k) Cylinders, cylinder valves, couplings, regulators, hose and apparatus shall be kept free from oily and greasy substances. 

l) A jet of oxygen must never be permitted to strike an oily surface, greasy clothes or enter a fuel oil or other storage tank. 

m) Cylinders should be inspected on a regular basis. 

2. Storage of Cylinders

a) Cylinders shall be kept far enough away from the actual welding or cutting operation so that sparks, hot slag or flame will not reach them. When impractical, fire resistant shields shall be provided.

b) Cylinders shall be placed where they cannot become part of an electrical circuit. 

c) Fuel gas cylinders shall be placed with the valve end up whenever they are in use. They shall not be placed in a location where they would be subject to open flame, hot metal or other sources of artificial heat.

d) Oxygen cylinders in storage shall be separated from fuel-gas cylinders of combustible materials a minimum distance of 20 feet or by a noncombustible barrier of at least 5 feet high having a fire resistance rating of at least 1/2 hour. 

e) Cylinders containing oxygen or acetylene or other fuel gas shall not be taken into confined space. 

f) Empty cylinders shall have their valves closed.

3. Use of Cylinders

a) Cylinders shall never be used as rollers or supports, when full or empty. 

b) The numbers and markings stamped into cylinders shall not be tampered with.

 
c) If cylinders are found to have leaky valves or fittings, which cannot be stopped be closing of the valve, the cylinder shall be taken outdoors away from any sources of ignition, slowly emptied and properly tagged “Out of Service”.

d) No person, other than the gas supplier, shall attempt to mix gases in a cylinder. No one, except the supplier or person authorized by them shall refill a cylinder. 

e) No one shall tamper with safety devices. 

f) A hammer or wrench shall not be used to open cylinder valves with fixed hand wheels. If valves cannot be opened by hand, the cylinder shall be properly tagged “Out of Service” and removed from the work area. 

g) Before connecting a regulator to a cylinder valve, the valves shall be opened while standing to one side of the outlet, never in front of it. Never crack a fuel-gas cylinder valve near other welding work or near sparks, flame or other possible sources of ignition. 

h) Before a regulator is removed from a cylinder valve, the cylinder valve shall be closed and the gas released from the regulator. 

i) Electrodes shall not be struck against a cylinder to strike an arc. 

j) Cylinders shall not be dropped or otherwise roughly handled. 

k) When cylinders are empty, turn them off, remove the gauges, put protective cap on and mark them “empty”.

l) Soapy water is recommended in testing for cylinder leaks.

m) Cylinders should be inspected on a regular basis.