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Gas Cylinder Laws & Regulations
Introduction to Gas Cylinder Safety
There are thousands of safety codes covering every industry imaginable. You’ll only need to narrow your rules down to whatever aspects of your job are associated with the business. When it comes down to industrial gas cylinder safety, you only really need to understand what safety codes exist for their operation and storage.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, as well as the International Fire Code, has a load of rules and regulations setting safety standards and practices every industry is obligated to follow. Failure to do so can result in hefty fines. Of course, they both have standards for gas cylinder operations. Whether you are working with oxygen, carbon dioxide, hydrogen, helium, nitrogen, propane, or any gas, especially ones stored in aluminum or steel tanks, you are required by the law to follow regulation.
We’ll briefly discuss the few regulations that exist for safe industrial gas cylinder storage and operation.
Inspecting Gas Cylinders
To follow OSHA regulations regarding gas tank inspections, you must make sure it’s safe to use. You need to check on your cylinders on a regular basis, especially before utilization. If you run a business, it’d be a good idea to have them be one of the many things you check on first-thing before you open the store.
It's essential to keep a gas regulator on the tank to control it. Don’t leave the top open. Most importantly, make sure there isn’t any physical damage on the tank. It doesn't need to look pristine, as if it's good as new, but at the very least, you don’t want to find any physical compromises. Dents, holes, burn marks, and the like are intolerable. Make sure your tank is free of such damages and that it’s placed in an environment where they won’t happen. As for corrosion, you may want to reconsider utilization if that damage is severe.
Storage, Handling, And Transportation
This one is simple. Keep your gas tank secured and upright. You can choose between brackets, chains, and stands designed to assist with keeping your gas tank physically stable. Some of these are required when you’re transporting your tanks from point A to B. Speaking of transportation, it’ll be a smart idea to use a hand cart capable of cradling the gas tank.
Don’t use it sideways or upside down. Never allow the tank to drop or hit other objects, even while transporting it. If you’re not using your tank, turn the valve closed and keep the tank in a cool and dry environment. Never leave it someplace that’ll get really hot or cold.
Safety Devices & Accessories
Most safety codes will mention what’s known as a safety relief device. Most industries refer to them as pressure relief devices because they’re designed to release gas pressure in emergencies. Typically, a gas regulator will suffice as one, as well as give you control over how much pressure you want discharging. Keep them properly maintained while being transported and operated.
Dents can reduce the maximum amount of pressure and gas it can hold. A bad environment can affect pressure too. Again, keep your tank away from overheated spaces. And lastly, make sure nothing is blocking the tank’s discharge. Take good care of your cylinder, its accessories, and storage environment. Your life depends on it.
Finding Safety References
Most of this information is based on general safety instructions that come with renting or owning a gas cylinder. There’s much more to learn from visiting the official websites of both OSHA and the IFC, as they are the two most commonly referenced regulatory agencies in the United States. Try exploring OSHA Standard Number 1910 Subparts H & I and IFC Chapter 53 for official gas safety references.
While some of the more specific codes and pamphlets may cost money, most of what you need to learn regarding compressed gas safety is free. Remember that different occupations and industries will likely require additional safety demands. Also, safety expectations may even vary based on location. Some states have their own safety agencies and regulation variations approved by OSHA. Either way, deeper research will be necessary.
As for us, we are known for our work in the food and entertainment industry, especially the latter. Our collection of informative gas safety blog posts include the use and practice of the right gas accessories, avoiding physical damages to your cylinders, and even making the right ordering decisions. At the same time, our resources article series informs you of the safety precautions of gases we offer, being carbon dioxide, helium, propane, and nitrogen.