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Safe Handling of Gas

Contact local authorities BEFORE handling any gas.

This Learning Document is to be used as a General Guide ONLY –  Rules and regulations concerning compressed gases and other hazardous materials are governed by your local authorities and laws.  Because these laws change from city to city, county to county, and province to province, you must reference your local authorities and laws BEFORE accepting, handling or using ANY hazardous material discussed here.

Safe Handling and Use of Gases

Safety is our utmost concern at Josef Gas.  While we take every precaution that our cylinders are delivered to you safely, as a customer you nee to take the same precautions when handling our equipment on your sites. 

Understand Gas Properties
Train your employees on the safe handling and storage of cylinders.  Get the MSDS sheets for the gases you are using.

Check your equipment before using
Leak test gas lines before using and ensure that the equipment being connected to the gas cylinder is compatible.

Provide Protective Equipment
Provide your employees with the appropriate protective equipment.  Safety glasses and shields, protective clothing and air filtration equipment are required for many operations using cylinder gases. 
Ensure that employees have been trained and are aware of the requirements of your workplace and are working in accordance with the laws.

If in doubt – contact Josef Gas

Do not use a gas cylinder if you are not sure of its contents or if you are unfamiliar about its properties.

Ensure that ALL employees, not just ones that are using the product are trained in WHIMIS.

Primary Hazards

Simple asphyxiation is the primary concern when handling inert gases like Nitrogen or Argon.  These inert gases when released into the atmosphere – especially in enclosed places – can displace Oxygen and reduce the percentage of Oxygen in the atmosphere to below life sustaining levels.

Fire and Explosion
Fire and explosion are the main concerns when handling flammable gases, Oxygen and other oxidizing gases.  Fire can start from simple things such as static electricity, a heat source, flame or friction. 

Poisoning is a primary concern with toxic liquid and gases.

Corrosive flame burns can occur through the improper use of protective clothing.

Cold Burns
Cryogenic liquids such as liquid Argon, Oxygen, Nitrogen and Helium can cause cold burns if it comes in contact with skin.

High Pressure
Cylinders are under pressure whether empty of full  A sudden release of a cylinders’ contents can propel objects and even propel the cylinder or cause a broken in to whip.

Improper Cylinder Handling
Mishandling of cylinders can cause sprains, falls, broken bones and bruises.  If a cylinder is not handled with its protective  equipment a cylinder may leak or explode.

Safe Handling and Storage of Gases and Liquids

Cylinders may only be handled by people trained in the handling of hazardous materials.

  1. Never drag, drop or slide cylinders
  2. Never lift a cylinder by its cap or valve protection
  3. Never handle a cylinder without its protective cap or ring
  4. Don’t subject a cylinder to abnormal shocks
  5. Don’t attempt to catch a falling cylinder

Cylinder Cap Precautions:

The cylinder cap protects the valve when the cylinder is in transit.  It also helps in preventing the cylinder from toppling if gas is accidentally released from the valve.

  1. Keep cap or valve protection on until the cylinder is secured and connected to an appliance.
  2. Hand tighten the cylinder cap only. Do not over tighten.

Cylinder Storage Precaution

Please contact your local fire department for the proper storage of hazardous materials.  This is only a GENERAL GUIDELINE.

  1. Oxidizers and combustible materials must be separated from flammables by at least 20 feet OR by a non combustible fire resistant wall.
  2. Secure cylinders in an upright position by nesting the cylinders and by using straps or chains to maintain a cylinder’s upright position.
  3. Separate full cylinders from empty ones.
  4. Always store cylinders in an area away from pedestrian and vehicular traffic.
  5. Store cylinders in a dry, cool place, never near a heat source.
  6. Propane cylinders must be stored in locked cabinets outside.  Please consult your local fire department and the TSSA for proper storage and handling restrictions in your area.

Things to keep away from Cylinders

  1. Never strike an arc on a cylinder
  2. Never permit smoking in an area where cylinders are stored or used.
  3. DO NOT grease, oil or lubricate any service valve on any cylinder.
  4. Use fire retardant blankets to keep sparks away from cylinders.
  5. DO NOT expose a cylinder to temperatures at or above 125 deg. F.

Cylinder Use

  1. Only allow trained personnel to handle and use cylinders.
  2. Never attempt to fill or refill a cylinder.
  3. DO NOT mix gases in a cylinder.
  4. ONLY Use regulators for the appropriate cylinder capacity and pressure type.
  5. Leak check any fittings once connected to the cylinder, BEFORE opening the cylinder valve.
  6. Always open a cylinder valve slowly and DO NOT stand in front of a regulator when opening the cylinder valve.
  7. Use check valves to prevent backflow of water and contaminants.
  8. Use flash back arrestors on welding torches AND regulators to prevent flame flashbacks.
  9. Do not use a welding torch and Oxygen, Acetylene and Propane cylinders WITHOUT flashback arrestors – it is against the law.
  10. Never remove a cylinders product identifier label or change the cylinder colour.
  11. Use only Oxygen compatible equipment, piping, regulators and threading compound when using systems for Oxygen use.  NEVER grease of lubricate a fitting.

Returning of Cylinders

  1. Close the cylinder valve completely.
  2. Place the valve cap back on the cylinder BEFORE handling the cylinder.
  3. If repairs are required please identify the cylinder to your driver or order desk person.

Handling of Cryogenic Cylinders

  1. Cryogenic cylinders hold liquid Argon, Nitrogen, Oxygen, Helium and CO2.
  2. When handling these cylinders protective clothing to prevent cold burns and face shields must be worn.
  3. Only handle these cylinders with a cylinder cart.
  4. Always wear gloves, a face shield and protective clothing when opening and handling any service valves on the cryogenic cylinder.


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