Compressed Gas Cylinders

UNB Reference Number: 7817
Authorized by: J. M. Anderson, President,
Effective Date: December 1, 1978
Revised: September 2001
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To outline hazards and regulations relating to compressed gas cylinders.


All University personnel using compressed gas cylinders.


Compressed gas cylinders present three major safety hazards:

  • A falling cylinder may cause injury.
  • If a valve is sheared off a cylinder it may become a projectile due to release of pressure.
  • Damaged or faulty valves may cause release of toxic, flammable or otherwise hazardous gas.


  1. All cylinders shall display a Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) supplier label describing the contents and hazards. A Material Safety Data Sheet (M.S.D.S.) shall be readily available for each gas in use.
  2. Cylinders shall be stored and used in a vertical position, secured by a restraining strap or chain.
  3. Cylinders shall be stored away from ignition or heat sources, flammable gases and corrosive materials. Oxidizing gases must be stored separately from each other. Storage rooms shall be cool, dry and well ventilated.
  4. Full and empty cylinders shall be stored in separate areas.
  5. Storage areas for cylinders shall be prominently posted with the name of gases stored and with signs prohibiting smoking.
  6. A cylinder of compressed gas shall not be used without the pressure being reduced by means of a regulator attached to the cylinder valve. Whenever a cylinder is not in use the regulator must be removed and the valve cap replaced. A regulator should never be used as a shut-off valve.
  7. Regulators and pressure gauges shall be used only for the gas for which they are intended. Oil and grease must never be allowed to come in contact with oxygen cylinders or their attachments.
  8. Hose lines and cylinder fittings shall be in accordance with the CGA/CSA Standard.
  9. Cylinders shall be transported on wheeled carts to which they are secured by a chain. When moving cylinders short distances they may be rolled on their bottom edge while held in an upright position. At no time may a cylinder be dragged or rolled on its side. (N.B. Occupational Health & Safety Regulations)