Safety Program - Dry Ice (Solid Carbon Dioxide)


This policy establishes procedures for the safe storage, usage, and handling of dry ice in [COMPANY] facilities.

The significant hazards of dry ice include burns and asphyxiation. Insulated gloves must be worn when handling dry ice. Use of dry ice in poorly ventilated areas can result in depletion of the oxygen level resulting in asphyxiation.




Dry ice is the solid form of carbon dioxide, non-combustible, available in flakes, pellets or block form. Dry ice will sublime (vaporizes directly to the gas state) at a temperature of –78.5C (-109.3 F) or higher.

Dry ice is used in company facilities in the following forms for the following purposes:



All company employees must follow the safe storage, usage, and handling of dry ice.

Safety Department

Upon discovery of improper storage or handling of dry ice, Safety Department will notify the appropriate Department Head.

Safety department will create an effective employee training program for all employees who work with or around operations using dry ice.

Safety department will create emergency response plan for situations involving excess buildup of carbon monoxide.

Department Heads

Department Heads will provide appropriate training for any employee who works with or around dry ice. Employees responsible for shipping packages containing dry ice, must be properly trained in United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) shipping requirements and authorized by the company to pack and ship packages containing dry ice.

Department Heads will ensure proper atmospheric testing is periodically conducted to ensure carbon dioxide levels remain below permissible exposure levels.

Department heads will cause periodic inspections to be conducted to ensure all production, use and storage requirements are met.


A. Storage:

1. Dry ice is to be stored in a well-ventilated locations and placed in insulated and ventilated storage areas, chesta, insulated coolers, or a special coolers designed for the storage of dry ice.
2. Because of the thermal expansion of dry ice (one pound of dry ice produces abut 250 liters of gaseous carbon dioxide), sufficient gaseous carbon dioxide can be released in a sealed container to cause an pressure explosion. Dry ice is NEVER to be stored in any type of tightly sealed devices such as an ultra-low freezer or plastic/glass container.
3. Dry ice will sublimate about five to ten pounds every 24 hours (blocks last longer) in a typical storage cooler.
4. Normal air is composed of 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen, and only 0.04% carbon dioxide. Concentrations greater than 0.5% (5000 ppm) can become dangerous. Storage and operation locations must be periodically surveyed to ensure carbon dioxide levels remain below 5000 ppm .

B. Hazards/Precautions:

1. Burns/frostbite: Dry ice can cause burns to the skin in short periods of times. Thermal rated gloves are to be used to handle dry ice.
2. Suffocation: carbon dioxide is a simple asphyxiant. Always store dry ice in a well-ventilated area to minimize the build up of carbon dioxide. Personnel must use caution should dry ice be stored in a deep cooler. Personnel must be trained to never stick their head into the chest to obtain dry ice.
3. Explosions: Placing dry ice into a tightly sealed container can permit sufficient gas build up to cause an explosion. Never place dry ice inside an ultra-low freezer or other enclosed space!
4. Placement of dry ice in rooms with little or no ventilation can result in a build-up of the carbon dioxide in the area. Do not store dry ice in a confined area such as in walk-in coolers, refrigerators, freezers, closets, or cars/vans.
5. The Material Safety data Sheet for dry ice is available at _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ .
6. Medical assistance for dry ice injuries is available by contacting _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ . Report injuries from dry ice using the Incident Report Forms available at _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ .
7. When using dry ice to ship materials, the shipper must follow all applicable shipping regulations.
8. Disposal of unneeded dry ice is accomplished by:
a.Letting the unused portion sublimate (recommended for well-ventilated locations because it will occur over a period of several days and the ventilation will take care of the gas liberated);
b. NEVER dispose of dry ice in a sink, toilet or other drain (such action can destroy the structure because of the temperature difference);
c. NEVER dispose of dry ice in the trash or garbage; and
d. NEVER place unneeded dry ice in corridors (some corridors may not be well ventilated and the oxygen level can be reduced to low levels).

C. Personal Protective Equipment

Respiratory Protection: SCBA in oxygen deficient atmospheres/where CO2 >1.5%. Don't use air purifying respirators.
Ventilation: Local Exhaust: At point sources of CO2 vapors. Mechanical (general): Low lying area are not naturally ventilated.
Protective Gloves: Impermeable/loose fitting (leather)
Eye Protection: Safety glasses

D. Operations

Production - Systems to produce Dry Ice from liquid carbon dioxide uses specifically designed tanks, valves, and collection equipment. System and equipment must be operated and inspected in accordance with the specific manufacturer's safety and operating instructions
Handling - Dry Ice temperature is extremely cold at -109.3°F or -78.5°C. Always handle Dry Ice with care and wear protective cloth or leather gloves whenever touching it. An oven mitt or towel will work. If touched briefly it is harmless, but prolonged contact with the skin will freeze cells and cause injury similar to a burn.
Storage - Store Dry Ice in an insulated container. The thicker the insulation, the slower it will sublimate. Do not store Dry Ice in a completely airtight container. The sublimation of Dry Ice to Carbon Dioxide gas will cause any airtight container to expand or possibly explode. Keep proper air ventilation wherever Dry Ice is stored. Do not store Dry Ice in unventilated rooms, cellars, autos or boat holds. The sublimated Carbon Dioxide gas will sink to low areas and replace oxygenated air. This could cause suffocation if breathed exclusively. Do not store Dry Ice in a refrigerator freezer. The extremely cold temperature will cause your thermostat to turn off the freezer. It will keep everything frozen in the freezer but it will be used up at a faster rate. It is the perfect thing if your refrigerator breaks down in an emergency.
Ventilation - Normal air is 78% Nitrogen, 21% Oxygen and only 0.035% Carbon Dioxide. If the concentration of carbon dioxide in the air rises above 0.5%, carbon dioxide can become dangerous. Smaller concentrations can cause quicker breathing but is otherwise not harmful. If Dry Ice has been



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