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What are the precautions to be taken while handling and storing compressed cylinders?

What are the precautions to be taken while handling and storing compressed cylinders?

1)      Where cylinders are to be kept for an appreciable length of time should be provided to ensure that they cause no hazard to workers or public in the area.

2)      Cylinders should be stored in a well ventilated area-preferable in open air but protected from the weather.

3)      The store should be away from fire risks and source of heat and ignition. Nothing else should be stored in the area.

4)      The cylinders should be stored upright on a firm level, well drained surface free from hollows and cavities. All long grass, weeds etc. should be removed.

5)      Cylinders should be secured so as they are prevented from falling over, when in storage or use.

6)      Cylinders should be segregated within the store according to type and weather full or empty.

7)      Oxygen and oxidizing gases should be separated flammable gases by 6m or by a fire resistant partition.

8)      No electrical apparatus should be installed within a cylinder store unless it is constructed to a suitable standard for the hazard.

9)      No cylinder should be used in a storage area.

10)   Appropriate warning signs “HIGHLY FLAMMABLE”. NO SMOKING”, “FULL/EMPTY” etc. should be displayed.

11)   Suitable fire fighting apparatus should be situated adjacent to the store. Typically dry powder fire extinguishers. These should be inspected and maintained at intervals not exceeding 1 year.

12)   Where cylinders area required to be stored in a compound this should be located not less than 3 meters from any building, site or public access road. The compound fence should be a minimum of 2 meters high, and it should have two means of escape, with the gates opening outwards.

13)  Where it is necessary to take precautions vandalism or theft, suitable protection cages should be used.

14)   Each cylinder should be adequate marked to include the manufacturer’s mark and serial number, together with an indication of the specification to which the cylinder is constructed and its years of manufacture. A date of test and pressure test, together with weight of cylinder and the name of the product, should be displayed.

15)When gas cylinders are to be transported they should be protected from physical damage and the   consequences of any leaks that may occur minimized.

16)Move cylinders by hand in proper cylinder trolleys where the cylinder is secured in the trolley.

17)Take great care when lifting cylinders as they can be very heavy and awkward to handle.

18)Before moving any cylinders remove all attached equipment including regulators and safety cap  must be provided.      

19)The cylinders should be properly supported and secures within the vehicle so they cannot move
     during the journey. They should be totally within the vehicle and protected from impact.

20)The cylinders should be checked to ensure that the valves are closed and there are no leaks.

21)The vehicle should be equipped with a suitable fire extinguisher. Typically dry powder,minimum capacity 2kg.

22)There should be no smoking within the vehicle while crying cylinders.

23)The driver of the vehicle should be conversant with the load and have written information on the hazards and the action to be taken should any problems occur. The driver should also have       training in the operation of the fire extinguisher and any other safety equipment carried.

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