Compressed Gas Tank Safety Plan
It is the policy of the Community College of Rhode Island to permit only trained and
authorized employees to handle, store, use, and inspect compressed gases and equipment.
This policy is applicable to daily users and to those who only occasionally have cause
to use the equipment.
This written Compressed Gas Plan describes methods and practices for care and use
of compressed gases that can be read and understood by all managers, supervisors,
and employees at the Community College of Rhode Island. This written plan must be
- Create an awareness of the hazards among our workforce,
- Standardize procedures for use and care of the equipment,
- Provide a consistent format for training employees on the proper procedures to be
- Minimize the possibility of injury or harm to our employees,
- Demonstrate the Community College of Rhode Island 's compliance with OSHA’s compressed gas requirements.
The EHS Manager is responsible for developing and maintaining this written Compressed
Gas Plan. The EHS Manager is responsible for all facets of the plan and has full authority
to make necessary decisions to ensure the success of this plan. The EHS Manager is
also qualified, by appropriate training and experience that is commensurate with the
complexity of the plan, to administer or oversee our compressed gas safety program
and conduct the required evaluations.
Copies of this written Compressed Gas Plan are kept in the office of the Physical
Plant Director, the Chemical Safety Coordinator and the Department of Safety and Security
and Campus Police.
If, after reading this plan, you find that improvements can be made, please contact
the Chemical Safety Coordinator or one of the Physical Plant Directors. We encourage
all suggestions because we are committed to creating a safe workplace for all our
employees, and a safe and effective compressed gas safety program is an important
component of our overall safety plan. We strive for clear understanding, safe work
practices, and involvement in the program from every level of the College.
Lists of Compressed Gases and Equipment
- The compressed gases used at CCRI include acetylene, air, carbon dioxide, helium,
hydrogen, nitrogen, and oxygen. Liquefied propane is stored outside the buildings
at all campuses in stationary tanks and in the vehicle garages in portable tanks.
- The compressed gas equipment used includes air testing equipment, compressed gas cylinders,
laboratory instruments, portable tanks, pressure regulators, resuscitation training
equipment, and welding torches.
Personal Protective Equipment
We have assessed the hazards associated with the compressed gases and equipment at
the Community College of Rhode Island and have taken measures to eliminate or reduce
their presence with engineering and administrative controls. Where these controls
were not enough for employee protection, CCRI provides all necessary personal protective
equipment according to our personal protective equipment (PPE) program. Shatterproof
safety goggles must be used whenever any connection is made or broken to a compressed
gas cylinder or valve. Fabric or leather work gloves must be worn whenever a compressed
gas cylinder is moved or transported.
The Physical Plant Directors and the Chemical Safety Coordinator are qualified to
determine that compressed gas cylinders are in a safe condition to the extent that
can be determined by visual inspection. Inspections of cylinders are conducted quarterly.
Our inspections are conducted as prescribed by the following, as applicable:
- 49 CFR 171 - 180 (Hazardous Materials Regulations under the Department of Transportation).
- Compressed Gas Association Pamphlet C-6-1968 (Standards for Visual Inspection of Steel
Compressed Gas Cylinders).
- Compressed Gas Association Pamphlet C-8-1962 (Standard for Requalification of DOT-3HT
Seamless Steel Cylinders).
If a cylinder is found to be unfit in its present condition, then the Physical Plant
Directors or the Chemical Safety Coordinator must determine whether it can be repaired
or must be. If a cylinder is repaired, it can only go back into service if the defect
is corrected as specified according to the requirements listed above.
The primary responsibility for the proper handling and use of a compressed gas cylinder
rests with the department in which it will be used. We follow the safe handling procedures
found in the CGA pamphlet series, including the P-1-1991 pamphlet. All employees who
handle and use compressed gases are required to:
- Identify a gas and its dangers before using it; look for this information on labels,
SDSs, and cylinder markings and not use a cylinder whose contents are not known.
- Examine cylinders as soon they are received; if signs of damage or leakage are detected,
move the cylinder to a safe, isolated area and return it to the supplier as soon as
- Use only regulators, pressure relief devices, valves, hoses, and other auxiliary equipment
designed for the specific container and compressed gas/cryogenic liquid to be used.
- Use shatterproof safety goggles when making or breaking any connection to a cylinder,
- Not interchange equipment between different types of gases.
- Make sure valves, hoses, connectors, and regulators are in good condition; do not
use cylinders if equipment is not in good condition.
- Use pressure relief devices and safety devices to help maintain cylinder or system
pressure at the desired levels. (Exceeding the desired pressure could damage the cylinder
- Check to see if regulators, hoses, and gauges can be used with different gases; always
assume they cannot.
- Never open valves until regulators are drained of gas and pressure-adjusting devices
are released; point outlets when opening cylinders away from people and sources of
ignition, such as sparks or flames; open valves slowly; use only supplier-recommended
wrenches on valves without hand wheels; never use wrenches on hand wheels.
- Not tamper with connections and not force connections together.
- Not hammer valves open or closed.
- Not drop, bang, slide, clank, or roll cylinders on their sides.
- Not let cylinders fall or have things fall on them.
- Not lift a cylinder by its cap unless using hand trucks so designed.
- Use carts or other material handling equipment to move cylinders; use ropes and chains
to move a cylinder only if the cylinder has special lugs to accommodate this.
- Keep cylinders secured and upright.
- Never secure cylinders to conduit carrying electrical wiring.
- Know accident and first aid procedures.
The primary responsibility for the proper transporting of a compressed gas cylinder
rests with the department in which it will be used. A hand truck is available in each
maintenance area for transporting gas cylinders safely. We follow the safe storage
procedures found in the CGA pamphlet series, including the P-1-1991 pamphlet. Our
transport procedures for compressed gases include the following:
- Compressed gas cylinders may be moved by individuals from the receiving or maintenance
department or a laboratory paraprofessional who has received the training outlined
at the end of this policy. Students may not transport compressed gas cylinders.
- Compressed gas tanks must be moved from one part of the building to another on a hand
cart. Never drag a cylinder or roll a cylinder.
- When compressed gas cylinders, whether they are full or empty, are moved by elevator,
the transporter must be accompanied by a Campus Police officer who will commandeer
the elevator and prevent others from entering it. A Campus Police officer escort
is also required when transporting a cylinder through a public corridor form one part
of a building to another. (An officer is not required at the Knight Campus when moving
gas cylinders form one chemistry or biology laboratory to another in the same corridor.)
- Never leave a cylinder unattended in a public place. Make sure the recipient is present
to receive it.
- Never leave a cylinder unsecured. When delivered to its user, a cylinder must either
be secured by the transporting person or handed over to a qualified user who will
- When transporting compressed gas cylinders by motorized vehicle, be sure the vehicle
is adequately equipped to haul compressed gases safely. Stop the engine while loading
or unloading flammable compressed gases.
The primary responsibility for properly storing a compressed gas cylinder rests with
the department in which it will be used. We follow the safe storage procedures found
in the CGA pamphlet series, including the P-1-1991 pamphlet. Our storage procedures
for compressed gases include the following:
- Store cylinders only in a definite, designated, labeled storage area.
- Store cylinders upright.
- Always keep the steel protective cap screwed on. This step reduces the chance that a blow
to the valve will allow gas to escape.
- Group cylinders by types of gas.
- Store full and empty cylinders apart.
- Label empty cylinders and those meant for return to the supplier.
- Store gases so that old stock is removed and used first.
- Secure cylinders with chains or cables to keep them from falling over
- Store compressed gas containers in dry, well-ventilated areas away from exits and
stairways. If stored out of doors, containers should be off the ground and out of
extremely hot or cold environments.
- Do not store compressed gas containers in high pedestrian and vehicle traffic areas.
- Store oxygen cylinders at least 20 feet from flammables or combustibles or separate
them by a 5-foot, fire-resistant barrier.
- Keep oil and grease away from oxygen cylinders, valves, and hoses.
- If your hands, gloves, or clothing are oily, do not handle oxygen cylinders.
- Make sure fire extinguishers near the storage area are appropriate for gases stored
- Post signs stating the name(s) of gas present and NO SMOKING signs where gases are stored.
The primary responsibility for properly using a compressed gas cylinder rests with
the department in which it will be used. We follow the safe usage procedures found
in the CGA pamphlet series, including the P-1-1991 pamphlet. Our employees must follow
these procedures for using compressed gases:
- Secure all cylinders as soon as they are delivered to the area where they will be
- Never remove a cap from an unsecured cylinder.
- Remove any leaking containers to a well-ventilated area and post a warning of the
- Shut a leaking valve and tighten the valve gland or nut. Then try opening the valve;
if it still leaks, close it and tag the container "unserviceable".
- Make sure labels are legible before using containers; otherwise, return containers
- Do not misuse containers (i.e., use them for support or use them as rollers).
- Keep containers away from fire, sparks, and electricity.
- Do not smoke or allow others to smoke in the vicinity of compressed gas containers.
- Do not subject containers to extreme heat or cold.
- Never attempt to work with a toxic compressed gas such as hydrogen cyanide. Such gases
require the use of SCBA (self-contained breathing apparatus) according to 29 CFR 1910.134.
CCRI employees are not trained in SCBA use and are forbidden to use such devices.
- Contact the manufacturer or supplier with questions about safe handling.
- Always keep removable caps and valve outlet caps/plugs on containers except when connecting
to dispensing equipment.
- Do not use oxygen and compressed air interchangeably. They are not the same.
- Do not use a pressure regulator for more than one kind of gas.
- Comply with ANSI Z49.1 when using or storing gas containers for welding and cutting
and other similar activities.
- When empty, close and return cylinders. Empty cylinders must be marked MT or Empty.
- Be sure valves are closed when not using the container and before returning containers.
- Properly label returning containers.
- Do not refill non-refillable containers once they are empty.
Compressed Gas Emergency Procedures
Refer to CCRI’s written Hazardous Substance Release Emergency Response Plan for employee
escape procedures and assignments during a compressed gas emergency. View the Hazardous Substance/Hazardous Waste Release Contingency Plan. In case of an emergency involving compressed gases, CCRI employees are directed
to leave the area immediately and notify the Department of Security and Safety and
Campus Police. The Department of Security and Safety and Campus Police will evaluate
the situation and decide what further action is necessary.
The Physical Plant Directors and the Chemical Safety Coordinator are responsible for
training personnel who will handle, store or use compressed gases. Under no circumstances
will an employee handle, store, or use a compressed gas until he/she has successfully
completed this company's compressed gas training program. This includes all new workers
who will handle, store, and use compressed gases, regardless of claimed previous experience.
Individuals in the following departments may receive training: Biology, Central Stores,
Chemistry, Respiratory Therapy, Clinical Laboratory Technology, Dental Health, Industrial
Technology, Maintenance, Physics, Receiving, Campus Police.
The Personnel Department, the Physical Plant Directors and the Department chairs are
responsible for identifying all new employees and making arrangements with department
management to schedule the instruction for those employees previously identified in
this policy as needing training.
General training elements include the following:
- Compressed gases and equipment at the College.
- Hazards of compressed gases and equipment.
- Personal protective equipment. Inspection procedures.
- Handling procedures.
- Storage procedures.
- Usage procedures.
- Gas-specific safety procedures.
- Compressed gas emergency procedures.
The Chemical Safety Coordinator is responsible for maintaining records of cylinder
inspections and maintenance. These records are kept in the office of the Chemical
The Chemical Safety Coordinator is responsible for maintaining records of individuals
trained and certified for handling, storage, and use of compressed gases and equipment.
These records are kept in the office of the Chemical Safety Coordinator.
Although we may not be able to eliminate all problems, we try to eliminate as many
as possible to improve employee protection and encourage employee safe practices.
Therefore, the Chemical Safety Coordinator is responsible for evaluating and updating
this written plan. Written or verbal input from interested parties is encouraged and
always welcome. The evaluation will include a review of reported accidents, as well
as near misses, to identify areas where additional safety measures need to be taken.
The will also conduct a periodic review to determine the effectiveness of the program.
This review may include:
- A walk-through of the facility, and
- Interviews with employees to determine whether they are familiar with the requirements
of this program and if safety measures are being practiced.