General Handling: Ensure that you have the correct Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) on to handle and use the gas type you are dealing with. This information can be obtained from the MSDS sheet (available on our Safety (MSDS) page). PPE will usually include safety glasses, gloves and steel capped footware.
Transporting Cylinders: Always use a cylinder hand cart to move cylinders into place. Ensure that they are chained and restrained from toppling over or colliding with other cylinders. Do not attempt to move cylinder that has a regulator attached. Do not use the cylinder cart as a place for storing the cylinders permanently.
Cylinder storage areas should comply with local regulations (see AS/NZ standards for Compressed Gases and NZ Hazardous Substances Regulations for more information). Gas cylinders should be stored in a well ventilated area away from any combustible materials, sources of ignition and should be dry and cool. Cylinders should be arranged by dangerous goods classes and each class should be separated according to minimum separation distances. Limit access to cylinders to prevent tampering. Always ensure that the cylinders are restrianed during storage to prevent any falls. Install cylinder caps (if supplied). Arrange cylinders into a “full” and “empty” configuration so users can clearly identify which cylinder are which. Leave a small volume of pressure in the cylinder before returning it to prevent any contamination entering the valve if it has been inadvertantly opened.
As with cylinder handling, ensure the correct PPE is being used at all times. Have the correct firefighting, first aid and any other protective equipment within easy reach. Identify the cylinder by its label, if the incorrect label has been applied to the cylinder or the cylinder label is not legible then tag the cylinder out of use, do not use the cylinder and return it to the supplier. When the cylinder has been place in the position of use, ensure the cylinder is securely fastened to prevent it from falling. Remove the protective shrink wrap and inspect the valve connection threads for damage or any dirt, oil or grease before conneting a regulator. You can safely remove any dirt or dust from the threads however, do not use a cylinder with oil or grease on the thread, especially if the cylinder is oxygen. When the cylinder is empty, notify your gas supplier for its return.
VALVE CONNECTION THREADS:
Be sure that the cylinder valve threads match the equipment you intend to use with the cylinder. Do not force or cross thread any fittings in an attempt to tighten them up. If threads do not match and you intend to use an adaptor, (this is not recommended), ensure that the adaptor meets the appropriate AS/NZ standards before using it. Use the correct materials when replacing a damaged or worn o-ring. Do not use any mechanical sealing material to seal threads. Inspect and remedy with the correct washers, o-rings or seals.
Make certain that your equipment matches the cylinder pressure. Some gases are contained at lower pressures that others so incorrect use of low pressure equipment on high pressure cylinders may result in a rupture. Always read the lables on the cylinder and regulators to ensure that the maximum operating pressures are compatible. Try to dedicate one regulator to each type of gas being used, to avoid pressure incompatibility issues.
Ensure that the regulator is suited for the intended gas service. Oxygen regulators should only be used for oxygen gas service to ensure that the inlet fitting and internal surfaces are not contaminated by other gases that may contain high concentrations of hydrocarbons or oil (compressed air or carbon dioxide). The inlet connection of the regulator should be compatible with the outlet fitting of the gas cylinder and the mating surfaces should be clean and dry. Make sure that the regulator control knob is screwed all the way out to close off the outlet flow. Connect the regulator to the cylinder outlet valve using the correct size cylinder spanner. Slowly open the cylinder valve handle, the high pressure gauge will now indicate the cylinder full pressure. Regulate the pressure to the desired outlet value by turning the regulator knob clockwise until the delivery pressure gauge reads the correct value. Check all fittings, hoses and connections for leaks with soapy water. If a leak is detected then decrease the delivery pressure by turning the regulator knob counter clockwise and wait until the delivery gauge reads zero before attempting to repair the leak.
To remove the regulator from the cylinder after use, close the cylinder handle and take appropriate precautions to remove the residual gas still trapped in between the regulator and hoses. This may need to be performed in a well ventilated area. Once all of the pressure has been removed and the delivery gauge reads zero, remove all of the tension from the regulator knob (counter clockwise). It is now safe to remove the regulator from the valve outlet using the correct cylinder spanner. Store the regulator in a safe place, free from contamination by foreign materials ready to be used again.