Compressed Gases Fact Sheet

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OSHA Standard 1910.101

Compressed gases and cylinders must be properly stored, transported and used to prevent injury and accidents. Industrial gas cylinders are color coded to provide identification "at a glance". Regulators, cylinders and cylinder valves must be inspected regularly to ensure safe operation. Gases that may react with each other must be stored separately.


• Oxygen displacement
• Explosion & fire hazards
• Toxic effect
• Physical hazards of a ruptured cylinder

Hazard Controls

• Color coding of cylinders
• Cylinder inspection
• Employee training
• Properly designed storage areas
• Segregation of empty & full cylinders
• Segregation of incompatible gasses
• Use of correct pressure regulators
OSHA Requires each employer to determine that compressed gas cylinders under his control are in a safe condition to the extent that this can be determined by visual inspection. Visual and other inspections shall be conducted as prescribed in the Hazardous Materials Regulations of the Department of Transportation (49 CFR parts 171-179 and 14 CFR part 103). Where those regulations are not applicable, visual and other inspections shall be conducted in accordance with Compressed Gas Association Pamphlets C-6-1968 and C-8-1962.
Storage of Compressed Gas Cylinders, including during use, must be designed to prevent prevent tipping, falling or rolling. Cylinders can be damaged or corrode if not stored or handled properly. Store cylinders in a cool, dry, well-ventilated, fire-resistant area that complies with federal, state and local regulations. Keep cylinder valve closed and cap installed when cylinder is not in use.

Personal Protective Equipment

• Use safety glasses when using compressed gas
• Use face shield & other required PPE for cryogenic gases
• Use air supplied respirators for toxic or oxygen displacing gasses

Work Area Safety

• Do not vent flammable gases inside a building
• Ensure bottles are secured in a proper storage area
• Keep oxygen stored away from flammables, grease and oil products
• Keep bottles capped when not in use
• Label all empty bottles
• Store bottles in ventilated dry area

Pre-Use Safety

• Check regulators for damage before using
• Ensure regulator valve is shut before installing on bottle
• Inspect all hoses before use

Operation Safety

• Use 30 psi or less when using compressed air for cleanup
• Secure bottles in upright position at work site to prevent tipping over
• Transport bottles with hand truck (secured)
• Open bottle valves and regulators slowly
• Never attempt to refill a gas bottle
• If a bottle valve leaks - take outdoors and slowly empty bottle
• Do not smoke near compressed gas bottles
• Never rely on the color of the cylinder for identification.
• Never attempt to repair a cylinder or valve
• Firmly attach cylinders to a bench top, wall, or holding cage. Use chains or sturdy straps
• Shut the cylinder valve when gas is not in use
• Open cylinder valves slowly.
• Never fully open cylinder cylinder valves.
• Don't store acetylene cylinders on their side• Never bleed a cylinder below 25 psi.
• Close all valves and replace caps before moving
• Store empty and full cylinders in separate areas
• Label all cylinders EMPTY or FULL
• Use safety glasses or face shield when handling or connecting gas cylinders
• Never roll or drag cylinders
• Move only one cylinder at a time



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