In many companies, gas cylinders are used on a daily basis. We often assume that their use is harmless, since anyone can use a gas cylinder without having to prove their safety knowledge. However, caution is required for each individual application - because mistakes in handling gas cylinders can have devastating consequences. Therefore, you should observe certain safety regulations when handling gas cylinders in your work and also make your employees aware of them.
In general, you should establish safety measures and regulations for the use of gas cylinders in your business based on your prior risk assessment. General notes: all important information on the safety-relevant properties of the gases and advice on specific safety measures can be found in the safety data sheet provided by your gas supplier. Instruct employees regularly and to an appropriate extent about the operation of pressurised gas containers, the particular hazards and the measures to be implemented in the event of accidents and faults. Particular care and attention is required when changing cylinders. Before use, for example, the prescribed personal protective equipment (PPE) should be put on and, if available, the extraction device should be switched on. If possible, sufficient natural ventilation should also be provided.
Before using or changing the cylinder, make sure that you connect the correct gas cylinder and observe the specific material properties of the contents. Check lines and hoses regularly for damage and make sure that all connections are tight. To avoid damage to hoses in the future, make sure that they do not rub on corners and edges or reach across traffic routes where they could be driven over. Fittings, hoses and tools for oxygen must always be free of grease, oil and dirt, otherwise there is a risk of spontaneous combustion. Also secure the gas cylinder at the workplace against falling over and close the cylinder valves during longer work interruptions.
What should I pay attention to when transporting gas cylinders?
Did you know that a gas cylinder can weigh more than 70kg? This poses a risk of injury that should not be underestimated - especially during transport. It is not only people who can be injured by improper handling of a gas cylinder. The risk of damaging the gas cylinder itself is also greatly increased during transport. In the event of a fall, for example, the valve, the weakest point of the gas cylinder, can break off and lead to a sudden release of the pressurised contents. Gas cylinders can turn into projectiles that can even penetrate concrete walls. Therefore, some safety requirements must be observed when gas cylinders have to be transported. In general, you should only transport gas cylinders with the valve cap screwed on and also protect the gas cylinders from excessive heat during transport to prevent pressure increases in the cylinder.
Transportation of gas cylinders within the company site
Again, remember to first put on the appropriate PPE (e.g. safety shoes and Protective gloves). Bumping, throwing and rolling horizontally are absolutely forbidden when transporting gas cylinders. In general, gas cylinders should not be carried by people or rolled while standing. Use Gas cylinder trolleys and transport racks instead. These professional tools are particularly recommended for regular activities and have numerous safety features that prevent the gas cylinders from falling over, rolling away or bumping into each other during transport. If it is necessary to transport the gas cylinder to other floors, people and gas cylinders must never ride together in a lift. You should only transport gas cylinders by crane if they are on a pallet. For this purpose, we offer special craneable gas cylinder pallets in our online shop. You will also find gas cylinder trolleys and transport racks for forklift trucks or pallet trucks in our extensive range.
When transporting gas cylinders on public roads, the regulations of the ADR (European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road) must be observed. Before transporting, find out about the maximum permissible total quantities per transport unit (exemption limits) for your substances. Attention must also be paid to the regulations on combined loading with other dangerous goods.
If the quantities you transport remain below the exemption limit, the following principles apply:
Only transport sealed gas cylinders with valve protection (e.g. protective caps)
Do not open packages
Attach the prescribed markings and labels
Carry a fire extinguisher
Load in open or ventilated vehicles if possible
No fires or naked flames
No smoking during loading
Observe precautionary measures for food, luxuries and animal feed in the case of toxic gases
Protect against damage by using adequate load securing
Carry transport documentation
Vehicle and driver must comply with the applicable regulations (operational and road safety, equipment)
The principles listed above also apply to the transport of uncleaned, empty gas cylinders. In this case, any deviating information concerning the packages shall be noted in the transport documentation.
If the exemption limit is exceeded, additional special regulations must be observed:
Carry two fire extinguishers
Provide additional protective equipment
Ensure the vehicle driver has an ADR certificate
Ensure the transport unit and, if applicable, packages (if containers are used) are specially marked
Observe special precautions for stopping, parking, loading and unloading
If necessary, arrange monitoring of the vehicles
Carry photo ID for each member of the vehicle crew
Observe special regulations for toxic gases
Prohibit consumption of alcoholic beverages or other substances that interfere with official activities
Gas cylinders are used every day in many businesses. But how do you ensure safe handling, for example when changing cylinders? And how can gas cylinders be transported properly? We present some important safety measures and regulations.
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