Gases behave diffrently depending on their quality and the form they are in. Gases must always be handled with great care and in compliance with the safety guidelines specified in instructions for use.
Gas cylinders are colour coded and marked to allow their easy identification.
For example: oxygen
Oxygen is a colourless, odourless, tasteless and a non-toxic gas. It is oxidising and strongly accelerates combustion. The normal oxygen content (O2) of air is 21 %. When the oxygen concentration rises by 3 percentage points to 24 %, the combustion rate doubles.
In humans, changes in the oxygen content of air may lead to hypoxaemia or hyperoxaemia. Hypoxaemia (under 17%) may at its mildest cause drowsiness or loss of consciousness. Hyperoxaemia (21..75%) may result in nausea, dizzyness and breathing problems. The effects depend on the individual’s personal characteristics, such as physical fitness.
Transport, handling and storage of gas cylinders
Instructions for the transport of gas cylinders
- A protective cap must always be used during transport or when a cylinder is transferred even a short distance.
- Gas cylinders and pallets must be tied with a cargo strap.
- Medical gases must be transported on an enclosed pallet or under a protective cover designed for the purpose.
Instruction for the handling of gas cylinders
- Wear personal protective equipment: safety shoes, safety goggles, a long-sleeved shirt/jacket, gloves.
- Cylinders must be protected from sudden impact.
- Cylinders with dents are rejected in an inspection.
- Acetylene cylinders must be handled and stored in an upright position.
- Tools to be used in handling and loading of gas cylinders: cylinder trolley, pallet wagon, jib crane, forklift truck.
Instructions for the storage of gas cylinders
- Gas cylinders must be stored in a well-ventilated space reserved for the purpose.
- No other items should be stored in the same space.
- The storage space must be free of any fire hazards and no sources of heat or ignition should be located close to the space.
- Smoking and open fires are forbidden in the vicinity of the storage space.
- Only authorised persons should have access to the storage space.
- The area must be clearly marked with warning signs in line with regulations.
- Storage for a large quantity of gas must be designed in collaboration with the gas supplier and rescue authorities.
- Gas cylinders should be stored in an upright position and secured to prevent them from falling.
- Cylinder valves must be closed and protective caps kept in place.
- Full and empty cylinders must be stored separately.
- Gases that react together, such as flammable and oxidising gases, must be stored separately.
- Propane must be stored at least five metres away from other gas cylinders.