Weekly Safety Meeting – Gas Cylinder Safety in the Construction Industry

There are many industries in which welding, cutting, and brazing are common. The government administration that regulates these practices in the construction industry is the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA). The regulation is 29 CFR 1926 Subpart J.

In general industry and in construction most requirements for hot work are the same. But there are some differences. According to 29 CFR 1926 Subpart J OSHA considers construction sites typically a landscape with rough terrain, so OSHA wants gas cylinders to be put into more secure storage if the gas is not to be used in and operation drawn for 24 hours. So just storing the cylinders on a transport dolly is not considered sufficient.

Transporting, Moving, and Storing Compressed Gas Cylinders

In general, the following procedures should be applied for welding and cutting gas cylinders:

  • Secure valve protection caps in place;
  • Cylinders must not be hoisted or transported by means of magnets or choker slings. They should be securely hoisted cylinders in a cradle, sling board, or pallet;
  • Cylinders must not be intentionally dropped, struck, or permitted to strike each other violently. They should be tilted and rolled on their bottom edges;
  • Cylinders should be secured in a vertical position when transported by powered vehicles;
  • Cylinders should not be lifted from one vertical position to another using valve protection┬ácaps;
  • When cylinders are frozen, a bar should not be used to pry cylinders loose by placing the bar under valves or valve protection caps. To thaw cylinder loose, use warm, not boiling water;
  • If cylinders are not secured on a special carrier designed for this intended purpose, the regulators must be removed from the cylinder and valve protection caps must be put in place before cylinders are moved;
  • While cylinders are in use, a cylinder truck, chain, or other steadying device should be used to keep cylinders from being knocked over;
  • The cylinder valve should be closed when work is finished, when cylinders are empty, or when cylinders are moved;
  • Cylinders should be always secured in an upright position, except (if necessary) for short periods of time, while cylinders are in moved, hoisted, or carried;
  • Oxygen cylinders, fuel-gas cylinders, or combustible materials (especially oil or grease must be separated in storage at a minimum distance of 20 feet or by a noncombustible barrier at least 5 feet high and having a fire-resistance rating of at least one-half hour;
  • Store cylinders inside a building where they are well-protected, well-ventilated, and in a dry location, at least 20 feet from highly combustible materials such as oil or excelsior. Cylinder should be stored in specific assigned locations away from elevators, stairs, or gangways. The assigned locations must be where cylinders will not be knocked over or damaged by moving equipment or falling objects, or subject to tampering; and
  • In-plant handling, storage, and utilization of all compressed gases in cylinders, portable tanks, rail tank cars, or motor vehicle cargo tanks must be in accordance with the Compressed Gas Association Pamphlet P-1-1965.

REMEMBER compressed gas cylinders are dangerous and could be become explosive if not transported, moved, or stored correctly.

Download flyer: SMOTW_1106_Gas_Cylinder_Safety

Download Spanish flyer: SMOTW_1106_Gas_Cylinder_Safety_esp

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