A great number of industries use gas bottles, and every year there are thousands of accidents associated with them. Knowing how to store compressed gas safely and using STOREMASTA flammable gas bottle cages will massively reduce your business’s risk of suffering a very hazardous accident. Here are our top tips for storing gas bottles:
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has provided extensive guidance for the safe storage of gas cylinders, including:
- Storing cylinders in the open air on a concrete or load-bearing surface
- Storing bottles upright with the valves at the top
- If storing indoors, no more than 5,000 kg may be stored in each purpose-designed building compartment
- A maximum of five such compartments can be in a single building
Be sure to check the HSE website, as well as any industry specific regulations, to make sure you are complying with both the law and best practice.
Wherever you store your gas bottles, ensure that access is restricted. Lockable gas bottle cages are ideal for this purpose as they will provide the needed ventilation while not allowing unauthorised or untrained personnel to get to the bottles.
Storing your gas bottles in a well-ventilated place means that any leaks do not build up into a major issue. You should make sure that the bottles are kept away from sources of potential ignition to make sure they are not at risk of exploding.
Keep your gas bottles out of direct sunlight to prevent overheating and expanding/exploding. You also need to make sure that the bottles do not corrode if you are storing them long term, so make sure that there is sufficient drainage for any rain water and do not store them near standing water.
Gas cylinders should be stored vertically, to limit the chance of them rolling and becoming damaged. Best practice is to use either a cage or chains to keep them upright. Make sure the surface is stable and flat to minimise the chances of bottles falling over and bursting. If chains are not available you can use plastic or steel strapping to make sure your bottles remain in position.
Make sure you store used and unused bottles separately. They can be in the same store or cage, but with a clear distinction as to which ones are used and not). You can weigh the cylinder to find out if it is empty – it should have a label stating the empty weight. Bear in mind, though, that fumes will remain in an empty cylinder – so treat empty cylinders with the same care and attention as full ones.
When it comes time to move your gas bottles, use a purpose-built gas cylinder trolley or lift and carry (depending on the size and weight). Never roll or drag your bottle – it is likely to become damaged, the valve might open and any safety labelling can become unreadable. If the bottle is small enough to be carried by hand, do so by holding the base and the sides – never the top of the valve, and wear the correct gloves from somewhere like unigloves.co.uk to ensure that you are properly protected.
Make sure you have appropriate safety signage around your gas bottle storage area. This should indicate what type of gas is being stored, the safety precautions that should be taken in and around the area and what to do in the case of an emergency
Author Bio: First Mats started life as safety matting specialists, but have since expanded to become a complete industrial and commercial supplies company. The focus of First Mats is to provide safety-focused products that improve the wellbeing of staff through quality approved products, backed up by extensive knowledge. www.firstmats.co.uk