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Compressed Gas Fact Sheet

Introduction

Compressed gases are used throughout the University for both academic and trades purposes. Pure gases and gas mixtures are used in research as reactants, carriers and in lasers. Welding and refrigeration charging are typical industrial applications involving compressed gases.

Applicable University Policy

None

Applicable Regulations

  • 29 CFR 1910.101 - "Compressed Gases" - Occupational Safety & Health Administration
  • C-6-1968 and C-8-1962 - Compressed Gas Association pamphlets
  • 49 CFR 171-179/14 CFR 103 - Hazardous Materials Regulations of the Department of Transportation

Summary of Requirements

  1. Cylinders must be handled as high energy sources. Always transport cylinders with the safety cap installed and use a cylinder cart. Do not roll them by hand along the floor.
  2. Always store cylinders upright and secure them using an approved lock-down device.
  3. Always use the correct pressure regulator for the specific gas.
  4. Do not store cylinders or lecture bottles with the regulator in place. If the regulator fails, the entire contents of the cylinder may be discharged.
  5. CGA fittings differ for inert gases (e.g., He, Ar, N2), flammable gases (e.g., H2) and oxidizers (e.g., O2, N20).
  6. Compressed gas cylinders which contain acutely toxic gases must be stored in a designated area.
  7. All compressed gas cylinders must be clearly marked with the correct chemical name.
  8. All cylinders should be labeled to indicate if the container is "full" or "empty".

Training

Individuals using compressed gases must be trained in the safe use of the material and pressurized systems. Users must complete Hazard Communication or Chemical Hygiene training. This training must be provided by Environmental Safety, Sustainability and Risk. Primary responsibility for specific operations training is with the employee's supervisor. Environmental Safety, Sustainability and Risk may be consulted as necessary.

Reporting

Laboratories - Compressed gases must be included in the Chemical Hygiene Plan's chemical inventory.

Other Work sites - The Chemical Information List must include compressed gases if they are used or stored in the workplace. List additions or deletions must be made through Environmental Safety.

Inspections

Visual and other inspections shall be conducted as prescribed in Compressed Gas Association pamphlets C-6-1968 and C-8-1962 and in the Hazardous Materials Regulations of the Department of Transportation (49 CFR parts 171-179 and 14 CFR part 103) to determine that compressed gas cylinders under a laboratory or other work area's control are in a safe condition to the extent that this can be determined by usual inspection.

University Resources

Department of Environmental Safety, Sustainability and Risk (301) 405-3960
ESSR Fax No.    (301) 314-9294
ESSR Website: https://essr.umd.edu

Written 5/98
Revised 4/02
Reviewed 3/04