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How to Handle Gas Cylinders Safely

By
November 20, 2017

How to Handle Gas Cylinders Safely

Gas cylinders are used in many hospitals, laboratories, and industrial workplaces. Moving and handling gas cylinders is an inherently high-risk activity. They are not only filled with extremely flammable gases, they are very heavy too, as they are made from metal and built to withstand a lot of pressure. Cylinder trolleys must be used when moving them, and all operatives must be fully trained in their use.

Risk assessments for gas cylinders

Risk assessments must be carried out for all work activities, especially high-risk ones. Here’s how to carry out a risk assessment for gas cylinders if you or your employees work with them:

Identify the hazards

Cylinders can explode resulting in injuries from flying parts, or even death. Moving and handling cylinders incorrectly can cause back injuries, joint injuries, strains, and fractures in the case of crush injuries occurring.

Identify who is at risk

This includes employees, and people who might be on the premises if an incident occurs, like visitors or contractors. Measures to reduce risk should be considered then implemented.

Identify safety measures that need to be taken

Personal protective equipment might need to be used, as well as mechanical aids like cylinder trolleys.

Record the findings of the assessment

Findings need to be communicated to staff and the risk assessment needs to be reviewed when any new employees start work or work processes change.

How to handle gas cylinders safely

Loading a gas cylinder on a trolley

  • Wear steel toe capped shoes and heavy-duty gloves to help you grip
  • Undo the secure bars on the trolley, and slide the trolley near the cylinder
  • Unhook the chain from the rack and put the palm of your hand on the cylinder neck
  • Tilt it forward so it rests on the base, and rotate the cylinder on to the trolley

What training is needed to move and handle gas cylinders safely?

Training is an important way of making sure that all employees are comfortable with handling cylinders and using the trolleys, but also that they are competent, to ensure work tasks are carried out safely. Comprehensive training should help to reduce the risk associated with moving and handling gas cylinders, reduce sickness absence from work, and reduce insurance and compensation claims.

Employees should be given the following training:

  • General manual handling training which should form part of an induction.
  • Work task specific training, which should focus on how to load, move, and unload a cylinder trolley.

If you work with gas cylinders, our gas cylinder trolleys are an essential piece of kit that will help you to move and handle cylinders safely and easily. Remove the need for heavy lifting with strong, durable equipment that’s built to last.

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