Compressed Gases Safety

Compressed Gases SafetyOBJECTIVE of Compressed Gases Safety

The object of this Compressed Gases Safety standard is to ensure that

  • All compressed gas cylinders are handled, transported and stored with the utmost safety
  • All pressure vessels comply with the relevant statutory requirements.

SCOPE of Compressed Gases Safety

The Company controls all compressed gas cylinders, pressure vessels and all vessels under pressure used on operations.


  • Machinery Supervisor

Is to ensure that the Company and Contractors to the Company comply in every respect with the requirements of these standards.

  • Project Supervision / Health and Safety Staff

Are to assist the machinery Supervisor in ensuring that all employees are aware of and comply with this standard.


  • Health and Safety Representatives Inspection Report
  • Gas Welding / Cutting Register / Checklist
  • Pressure Vessel Register


  • Pressure Vessel Test Certificates
  • Vessels under Pressure Regulations

Compressed Gas Cylinders

  • All compressed gas cylinders must be individually secured in an upright position out of direct sunlight.
  • Full and empty cylinders must be stored apart and clearly demarcated to prevent confusion.
  • Oxygen cylinders must be stored at least 5 m apart from flammable gas cylinders.
  • No wood, cardboard cartons or other combustible material must be stored in the vicinity of the cylinder storage area.
  • The storage of corrosive substances, oil or grease is prohibited in the vicinity of the cylinder storage area.
  • Smoking or naked flames are prohibited in the vicinity of the storage facility.
  • Storerooms must be well ventilated and must not be below ground level.
  • All electrical fittings are to be of the flameproof type
  • The following signs must be prominently displayed at the storage facility :-

“No Smoking”
“No Naked Flames”
“No Unauthorized Entry”
“Full Cylinders” and “Empty Cylinders” as appropriate signs indicating the type of gas storage.
“Acetylene”, “Oxygen”, “LPG”, etc.

  • No cylinder must be allowed to slide over or come into contact with sharp edges or to come into violent contact with each other.
  • Compressed gas cylinders must not be used as roller-beds for moving heavy objects or as support for material or equipment.
  • Compressed gas cylinders must be individually secured in an upright position when in use and preferably in a purpose made trolley.
  • The flashback arrestors must be used with all Oxyacetylene cutting equipment.
  • Joints and connections must be daily tested with a soapy solution for leaks.
  • The maximum length of oxygen and acetylene hoses is 30 m and may only be joined using purpose made brass couplings.
  • All compressed gas cylinders, either empty or full, while being transported must be secured in the vertical position with the valve uppermost and not be allowed to roll freely around the vehicle.
  • No cylinders are to be transported unless the valve caps and plugs are securely in position and must only be lifted by using a purpose made lifting facility approved by the Health and Safety Department
  • Valves of empty cylinders must be kept firmly closed to prevent “breathing”.
  • To ensure that purity and moisture tests are carried out before filling a note must be attached to any cylinder stating that the valve has been left open.
  • Before any compressed gas cylinders are transported regulators and other equipment must be removed.
  • The cylinder key must be attached to the cylinder or trolley while it is being used.
  • Hoses must not be wrapped around the cylinders but must be rolled up on a purpose made facility.
  • No lighted cutting torch or any other naked flame must be brought near the oxyacetylene cylinders at any time.
  • No oxygen and acetylene cylinders must be used in any confined space unless under controlled circumstances where a hot-work permit has been issued.
  • All compressed gas cylinders must be kept away from naked lights and/or any hot surfaces or heating appliances, e.g. stoves, hot plates, boilers, etc.

In the event of a fire :-

  • Remove all cylinders promptly from the area.
  • Cylinders, which cannot be removed, must be cooled with copious amounts of water.
  • If any acetylene cylinder is accidentally heated or becomes unduly warm or if there is any sign of smoke or an unusual smell with the discharged gas or fire / explosion occurs in the regulator or the hose :-
  • The cylinder must be immediately removed into the open atmosphere.
  • The valve must be closed and the regulator detached.
  • The cylinder valve must be fully opened to allow the gas to vent freely.
  • In the event of any compressed gas cylinder becoming involved in a fire the supplier must be notified and the cylinder must be clearly marked.
  • If equipment is not in use, depressurize hoses.
  • Ensure that a fire extinguisher is available during any hot work activities.