A variety of cylinders are widely used in different industries to store gases such as oxygen and liquefied petroleum gas at high pressure. Having gas cylinders in the workplace creates health risks for you and your employees in the form of accidents that may lead to serious injuries and even death. Thus, it is imperative that guidelines in the proper storage, handling, use and disposal of gas cylinders be put in effect to prevent the occurrence of gas cylinder-related accidents. Here we will give you some general guidelines on the proper storage of gas cylinders.
- All gas cylinders, whether they are oxygen cylinders, air cylinders, or LPG cylinders, should be stored vertically or in an upright manner. To prevent them from tumbling over, restrain them securely with ropes.
- Always store gas cylinders of all sizes in a well-ventilated area with a flat surface. If possible, store it in an open air area but not directly exposed to the weather. Exposure to direct sunlight may compromise the mechanical integrity of gas cylinders while exposure to rain will cause rust formation.
- Never store gas cylinders in damp areas or areas where water might seep in to avoid rust from forming in the outer layer of the glass cylinders.
- Gas cylinders should be stored 20 feet away from flammables, combustibles and other incompatible substances. Similarly, gas cylinders should not be stored near ignitions.
- Gasses stored in gas cylinders have different hazard classes. Store gas cylinders with the same hazard class. If you need to store gas cylinders with different hazard classes, store it in a room with a non-combustible wall, height of 5 feet, and a fire resistance rating of at least 30 minutes.
- Always follow the first in, first out system in storing and using gas cylinders. This means that the oldest gas cylinders in the storage get used first.
- It is not advisable store gas cylinders for more than a year without using it. Only store what you can consume in the short term.
- Empty gas cylinders should always be kept separate from full gas cylinders. Make sure that the valve of empty gas cylinders are tightly shut to prevent contaminants from entering the tank. Both empty and full gas cylinders should be capped when possible. In addition, gas regulators should also be kept shut properly.
- Do not store gas cylinders in exit points or egress routes as there is a high level of possibility that they might get knocked over or, worse, hit by something big like a cart.
These are basically general guidelines in storing gas compressed in gas cylinders. Follow these general guidelines and add more as your needs require to ensure the safety of your workplace. It is also important that you train your employees adequately on how to store gas cylinders. For more tips in establishing gas cylinder storage policies, check out the Compressed Gas Association web site at cganet.com. You will find informative articles and videos on how to properly store LPG cylinders, oxygen cylinders, and air cylinders of all sizes.