Compressed Gas
Responsible Administrative Unit:
Cylinder Policy
Finance and Administration


Policy Contact:
Issued: April 26, 2012
Director of Environmental Health and Safety

TSweitze@mines.edu
Revised: June 19, 2012


1.0
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE

Compressed gas cylinders represent physical and gas-specific chemical hazards as well as an
asphyxiation hazard due to oxygen displacement. The gases contained in cylinders display
chemical hazards that include toxic, flammable, corrosive, pyrophoric, and oxidizing properties.
Physical damage or exposure to high temperatures can result in a sudden release of pressure from
a compressed gas cylinder and pose a serious threat to life and property. To minimize risk to
employees and students, this policy was created to provide information and guidance in the safe
handling, storage, and usage of compressed gas cylinders.

2.0
POLICY

Colorado School of Mines (“Mines” or “the School”) is committed to the safe handling, use and
storage of portable compressed gas cylinders. All faculty, staff and students who use compressed
gas cylinders are required to adhere to the handling, storage, and usage requirements outlined
below. This policy is applicable school-wide including all research and teaching laboratories, all
academic department shops, the Edgar Mine property, and all Facilities Management shops where
compressed and liquefied gas cylinders are handled, used or stored.

3.0
PROCEDURES

3.1 Storage Requirements: Proper storage of compressed and liquefied gas cylinders is
critical to protect the health and safety of all campus personnel and prevent property
damage. All gas cylinders must be stored as follows:

In a well-ventilated area.
In an upright position. Lecture bottles may be stored on their side but stored in a
way to prevent damage to the product label.
In a free standing gas cylinder storage rack, a wall mounted cylinder rack, anchored
to a fixed bench top, vented gas cabinet, or other fixed location. Free standing
cylinders, storing gas cylinders in a cylinder cart, or strapping a cylinder to movable
furniture or equipment is not permitted.
In a way that the cylinder is secured to a fixed location using a substantial chain,
belt or strap prior to removing the cylinder cap and attaching a regulator. The chain,
belt or strap must be located halfway to approximately three quarters of the way up
the height of the cylinder.
So that the cylinder label is easily viewed.
On a dry surface allowing no contact with corrosive fumes and chemicals, including
salt.
Away from sources of heat and open flames.
At least 20 feet away from incompatible gas cylinders or separated by a physical
barrier. Ensure this distance is maintained between oxidizing and flammable gases.
So that gases with the same hazard class are stored in the same area. Inert gases
are compatible with all other gases so this requirement does not apply.
Page 1 of 6





Compressed Gas
Responsible Administrative Unit:
Cylinder Policy
Finance and Administration


Policy Contact:
Issued: April 26, 2012
Director of Environmental Health and Safety

TSweitze@mines.edu
Revised: June 19, 2012


So that full cylinders are separate from empty cylinders. Empty cylinders must be
removed from a laboratory as soon as possible.
With their caps in place.
Away from exits or emergency egress routes.
In a location where they will not be subject to mechanical or physical damage, heat,
or electrical circuits.

Flammable gas cylinders must be stored in the building’s gas cylinder storage cage until
needed for research.

3.2 Cylinder Handling Requirements: The following requirements apply to the movement
and handling of compressed and liquefied gas cylinders to or from the point of delivery and
the location where the cylinder will be used.

Always ensure the safety cap or valve protection device is in place prior to moving
any cylinder.
Never drag, slide or roll a gas cylinder.
Use a gas cylinder cart to transport gas cylinders to and from a designated work
area. Use the chain to secure the cylinder to the cylinder cart.
Avoid dropping or striking cylinders together.
Never lift a cylinder by the cap. If a cylinder needs to be hoisted, use a cradle.
Never use a sling or lifting magnet.
Remove the regulator and replace the cap prior to moving a cylinder.
Empty cylinders and cylinders that are no longer needed must be returned to the
delivery area and returned to the vendor. Partial lecture bottles may be returned to
the Chemical Storage and Distribution Facility for storage and use. Empty lecture
bottles must be submitted to EHS for waste pick up and proper disposal.

3.3 Usage Requirements: The following requirements apply to the use and storage of
compressed and liquefied gas cylinders in laboratories and job locations.

Wear safety equipment appropriate for the hazard potential for the gas.
Read the material safety data sheet (MSDS) and become familiar with the health
and physical hazards of the gas, gas mixture, or liquefied gas prior to dispensing the
cylinder contents.
Prior to removing the cylinder cap for use, ensure the cylinder is secured to a fixed
location with a substantial chain or appropriate belt or strap. The chain, belt or strap
must be located halfway to approximately three quarters of the way up the height of
the cylinder.
Do not remove the cylinder cap while the cylinder is secured to the cart.
Use a pressure-reducing regulator or separate control valve to safely discharge gas
from a cylinder.
Use only regulators approved for the specific gas.
Open cylinder valve slowly.
Page 2 of 6





Compressed Gas
Responsible Administrative Unit:
Cylinder Policy
Finance and Administration


Policy Contact:
Issued: April 26, 2012
Director of Environmental Health and Safety

TSweitze@mines.edu
Revised: June 19, 2012


Stand clear from the regulator and valve outlet while opening the cylinder valve.
Do not use a cylinder if the valve is difficult to operate.
Close the cylinder valve anytime the gas cylinder is not in use.
Leak-test lines and connections with soap and inert gas prior to using.
Use compatible tubing to deliver gas to research apparatus.
Do not use plastic tubing to deliver flammable, toxic or pyrophoric gas to a research
apparatus.

3.4 Maximum Allowable Storage Quantities: International Building Code (IBC) and
International Fire Code (IFC) regulate the maximum allowable storage quantity of
flammable gas in campus buildings. The IBC and IFC maximum allowable storage limits for
compressed gas cylinders is based on building control areas and not individual laboratory
locations. Maximum allowable storage limits for flammable gases decreases significantly for
each increase in building level above the ground floor.


Appendix 1 can be used as a general guideline to identify the maximum allowable storage
limit for flammable gas. EHS is required to conduct a preliminary evaluation for IBC and IFC
compliance for the use of flammable gas cylinders on the third or fourth floor of a building.

4.0
RESPONSIBILITIES

4.1 Responsibility of the Users:

Compressed gas cylinders must be handled only by experienced and properly
trained personnel. Training is available through EHS. Please contact EHS for
Compressed Gas Cylinder Training program. This includes familiarity with hazard
communication information on the cylinder label and the product’s MSDS.
Users must ensure they are obtaining the correct gas for their application. Please
read the label to ensure you are using the correct gas, gas mixture and
concentration. The color of the cylinder or cap does not identify the gas contained
inside.
Users must inspect the cylinder to ensure the label is intact and legible, the cap or
valve protection device is in place, the cylinder is not damaged in any way, and the
hydrostatic test date is less than 5 years old on steel and aluminum cylinders.
Cylinders with a five point star stamped next to the test date meet certain cylinder
specifications and qualify for a 10 year test interval.
Cylinders failing this inspection should be returned to the vendor or turned into EHS
for disposal.
Users must not modify, tamper or deface any part of the cylinder, pressure relief
valve, cylinder valve, or regulator.
A leaking cylinder should be removed or isolated in a well-ventilated area. Please
call EHS to report a leaking compressed gas cylinder.
Page 3 of 6





Compressed Gas
Responsible Administrative Unit:
Cylinder Policy
Finance and Administration


Policy Contact:
Issued: April 26, 2012
Director of Environmental Health and Safety

TSweitze@mines.edu
Revised: June 19, 2012


Lecture bottles may be ordered through the Chemical Storage and Distribution
Facility. Full and half sized cylinders are ordered by departments through local
vendors.

4.2 Responsibility of EHS:

EHS will maintain a compressed gas cylinder training program to identify the
procedures to safely store, handle and use compressed gas cylinders on the Mines
campus.
EHS will maintain and update this compressed gas cylinder policy following changes
in OSHA regulations, applicable building codes; or as needed following an accident
or incident involving a compressed gas cylinder.
EHS will maintain the Chemical Storage and Distribution Facility to purchase, store
and inventory lecture bottles.
EHS will conduct inspections to insure compliance with these procedures.

5.0
DEFINITIONS

Note: Many gases exhibit more than one hazard. In the examples quoted in this section, to provide
the best protection to the user, most severe hazard of a gas has been designated with a (P) for
Primary. Any additional hazards for which additional precautions are recommended have been
designated with an (S) for Secondary.

5.1 Asphyxiating gas: Is usually inert, that may cause suffocation by displacing the
oxygen in the air necessary to sustain life.

Examples: Acetylene (S), Argon (P), Carbon Dioxide (P), Ethane (S), Helium (P), Hydrogen
(S), Liquid Nitrogen (P), Methane (S), Nitrous Oxide (P), Propane (S), Sulfur Hexafluoride
(P)

5.2 Compressed gas: A gas or mixture of gases having an absolute pressure exceeding
40 psi at 70 degrees F (21.1 degrees C) or, a gas or mixture of gases having an absolute
pressure exceeding 104 psi at 130 degrees F (54.4 degrees C) regardless of the pressure
at 70 degrees F, or, a liquid having a vapor pressure exceeding 40 psi at 100 degrees F
(37.8 degrees C).

5.3 Corrosive Gas: A gas that causes visible destruction of, or irreversible alterations in
living tissues by chemical action at the point of contact or which requires a DOT Corrosive
label.

Examples: Ammonia (P), Chlorine (S)

5.4 Cryogenic fluid: A refrigerated liquefied gas having a boiling point colder than - 90 deg
C (- 130 deg F) at 14.7 psi absolute, or which DOT requires the label of non-flammable,
Page 4 of 6





Compressed Gas
Responsible Administrative Unit:
Cylinder Policy
Finance and Administration


Policy Contact:
Issued: April 26, 2012
Director of Environmental Health and Safety

TSweitze@mines.edu
Revised: June 19, 2012


nonpoisonous compressed gas including - compressed gas, liquefied gas, pressurized
cryogenic gas, compressed gas in solution, asphyxiating gas, and oxidizing gas.

Examples: Ammonia (S), Ethane (S), Liquid Nitrogen (S), Propane (S).

5.5 Flammable gas: A gas which, at ambient temperature and pressure, forms a
flammable mixture with air at a concentration of 13 percent by volume or less, or a gas
which at ambient temperature and pressure, forms a range of flammable mixtures with air
wider than 12 percent by volume, regardless of the lower limit, or one that requires a red
Flammable gas label.

Examples: Acetylene (P), Ammonia (S), Arsine (S), Carbon Monoxide (S), Ethane (P),
Germane (S), Hydrogen (P), Methane (P), Propane (P), Silane (P).

5.6 Oxidizer gas: A gas that is nonflammable but can support and vigorously accelerate
combustion in the presence of an ignition source and fuel or requires a yellow DOT oxidizer
label.

Examples: Compressed air (S), Chlorine (S), Nitric Oxide (S), Nitrous Oxide (S), Oxygen
(P).

5.7 Toxic gas: a gas that has a lethal concentration (LC 50) in air of 2000 ppm or less by
volume of gas (Highly Toxic has an LC 50 of 200 ppm or less) or gas that requires a DOT
poison label.

Examples: Arsine (P), Carbon Monoxide (P), Chlorine (P), Germane (P), Nitric Oxide (P).

6.0
REFERENCES

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 29 CFR 1910.101 Compressed Gases.
OSHA 29 CFR 1910.1450 – Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Chemical in Laboratories.
OSHA 29 CFR 1910.1200 – Hazard Communication.
Compressed Gas Association Pamphlet P-1-1965
2009 International Fire Code (IFC)
2009 International Building Code (IBC)

7.0
ATTACHMENTS

Please see Appendix 1 below.
Page 5 of 6



Appendix 1
2009 IBC Maximum Allowable Storage Quantity
Flammable Gas
Building Floor
Base Maximum
Maximum Allowable
Maximum
Maximum Number of
Maximum Number of Full
Location
Allowable Quantity
Quantity In Vented Gas
Number of
Full Sized Cylinders
Sized Cylinders per Control
Per Control Area
Cabinets Per Control Area Control Areas
Per Control Area1
Area In Vented Gas Cabinets1
(Cubic Feet @NTP)
(Cubic Feet @NTP)
Per Floor
Basement
1500
3000
3
6
12
First Floor
2000
4000
4
8
16
Second Floor
1500
3000
3
6
12
Third Floor
1000
2000
2
4
8
Fourth Floor
250
500
2
1
2
Maximum allowable storage volumes identified includes IBC allowance to increase storage volumes in buildings protected by a sprinkler
system.

1 - Maximum number of cylinders is an estimate using an average of 250 cubic feet of gas per standard sized cylinders. Please see the
following for actual flammable gas volumes for standard sized cylinders of hydrogen, methane, and carbon monoxide.

Hydrogen – Matheson Tri Gas/General Air 1A Cylinder - 213 Cubic Feet
Methane – Matheson Tri Gas/General Air 1A Cylinder - 286 Cubic Feet
Carbon Monoxide – Matheson Tri Gas/General Air 1A Cylinder - 175 Cubic Feet

Page 6 of 6