SAFE STORAGE, HANDLING AND USE OF COMPRESSED GASES IN CYLINDERS

The University of Sydney is committed to improving the safety and efficiency of its compressed gas storage, handling and use. The University aims to comply with legislative requirements and Australian Standards pertaining to compressed gases in cylinders. Ultimately, this will mean compressed gases will be stored and mainly used from outside buildings, with minimum quantities possible being kept inside laboratories. Achieving these aims requires the co-operation of staff and students.

The key requirements are:

  • Restraints for Gas Cylinders: all compressed gas cylinders in the University be properly restrained, whether in use, being stored or being transported - this includes "empty" cylinders. Cylinders being stored or in use will be secured to a fixed structure. Do not restrain cylinders around their necks - restrain them around the main cylinder body at a height that will prevent them from falling over. Use racks and chains/straps, trolley stands with chains/straps or proprietary products designed for the purpose (eg "Bottlechock").
  • Storage: where possible, cylinders be stored in, and used from secure locations outside of buildings.
  • Minimum quantities: only minimum practical quantities of compressed gases be kept and used inside buildings.
  • New standards: proposals for new equipment using compressed gases incorporate plans for safe and secure gas supplies in line with the University's long-term aims to house cylinders outside of buildings.

References

Refer to Australian Standard 4332-1995 The storage and handling of gases in cylinders for more detailed guidance on:

  • location and construction of gas cylinder stores, including ventilation
  • operational and personnel safety
  • fire protection and other emergency measures.

Refer to Australian Standard 2243.6-1990 Safety in laboratories Part 6: Mechanical aspects for more detailed guidance on safe handling and use of compressed gases, and specific precautions for oxygen, acetylene, hydrogen, compressed air, and liquefied and dissolved gases.

Refer to Australian Standard 2243.10-1993 Safety in Laboratories Part 10: Storage of chemicals for more detailed guidance on safe storage of gas cylinders used in laboratories.

Refer to Australian Standard AS1894 The storage and handling of non-flammable cryogenic and refrigerated liquids for more detailed guidance on cryogenic and refrigerated gases.