There are several hazards associated with compressed gases, including oxygen displacement, fires, explosions, toxic effects from certain gases, as well as the physical hazards associated with pressurized systems. Special storage, use, and handling precautions are necessary in order to control these hazards

There are numerous Occupational safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards that contain requirements for compressed gases. Some standards directly address compressed gas safety (e.g., OSHA 1910.101, Compressed Gases), while other standards not directly related to compressed gases contain provisions for their use (e.g., several chemical-related standards – OSHA 1910.1001, Asbestos, and OSHA 1910.1025, Lead – do not permit the use of compressed air for cleaning contaminated surfaces.

This “Client Handout” provides small business owners a means of identifying potential problem areas that may occur with compressed gas cylinders. Any question answered “No” should be thoroughly investigated and corrective actions taken.

Questions Yes No N/A
Are procedures written that cover use and storage of compressed gas cylinders?
Are workers trained in safe handling and use of compressed gas cylinders?
Are safety glasses (preferably with a face shield) used when handling compressed gases?
Are cylinders with a water weight capacity over 3 lb (1.3 kg), equipped with means for connecting a valve protector device, or with a collar or recess to protect the valve?
Are cylinders marked clearly and legibly to identify the gases contained?
Are compressed gas cylinders stored in areas that are protected from external heat sources, such as flame, intense radiant heat, electric arcs, or high temperature lines?
Are cylinders located or stored in areas where they will not be damaged by passing or falling objects or subject to tampering by unauthorized persons?
Are cylinders stored or transported in a manner to prevent them from creating a hazard by tipping, falling, or rolling?
Are gas cylinders secured at all times to prevent tipping?
Are gas cylinders containing acetylene never stored on their sides?
Are cylinders containing liquefied fuel gas stored or transported in a position so that the safety relief device is always in direct contact with the vapor space in the cylinder?
Are valve protectors always placed on cylinders when the cylinders are not in use?
Are all valves closed off before a cylinder is moved, when the cylinder is empty, and at the completion of each job?
Are low-pressure fuel-gas cylinders checked periodically for corrosion, general distortion, cracks, or any other defect that might indicate a weakness or render it unfit for use?


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