Compressed gas cylinders, by definition, contain pressurized gas. These gases can be flammable or inert. However, due to the highly compressed state of the gas, even cylinders containing inert gases can be dangerous. Following the proper storage and handling procedures is vital for safety when using and transporting gas cylinders, according to Cornell University.
Confirm the labeling of the gas cylinder. Cylinder labels include the name of the gas contained in the cylinder. The label also includes U.S. Department of Transportation certification that the cylinder is approved for interstate transportation of compressed gas. Do not transport a cylinder of an unknown gas or in an unapproved cylinder.
Strap the cylinder to any wheeled cart used for moving the gas cylinder. Two-wheeled hand carts with high handles are suggested. Use chains or straps to prevent the gas cylinder from falling. Move only one cylinder at a time on hand carts.
Place the safety cap on the gas cylinder before transportation. Never transport gas cylinders without the safety cap in place. Screw the cap all the way down to the body of the cylinder. Do not lift the cylinder by the cap.
Secure the gas cylinders in an upright position during transportation. The tanks should be secured by chains or other heavy straps in a manner that will hold them upright and prevent falls. Never transport cylinders with the regulators attached.
Wear proper personal protective equipment (PPE) any time you are handling gas cylinders. PPE includes gloves and aprons when handling corrosive gases. Anyone handling gas cylinders containing any substance should wear safety-toed boots or shoes and adequate protective eye glasses.
The intense pressures in a gas cylinder pose explosion risks. If a tank is damaged, a crack or rupture can result that propels the tank at a high speed. The tank itself can become a deadly projectile or explode into fragments of shrapnel.