Propane tanks are portable sources of fuel that operate industrial trucks or forklifts. A lot of the forklifts operated within many industries use a propane tank on the back of the industrial truck. These tanks must be exchanged when the fuel runs out. Certain personal protective equipment, or PPE, must be worn when replacing an empty propane tank. Other PPE is recommended to prevent injury to the person replacing the tank.
Safety glasses must always be worn when replacing the propane tank on the back of the forklift. These glasses prevents any propane from entering the eyes when you remove the fuel line from the propane cylinder. Many times propane gas will escape when you first loosen the fuel line from the tank. Propane can irritate the eyes, causing them to itch and become numb.
Another required PPE when replacing a forklift's propane tank is gloves. Propane is very cold and irritates the skin when it makes contact. Use loose fitting gloves made of leather or neoprene. This is an important piece of protective gear because you must turn off the valve on the propane tank and remove the fuel line. Your hands will be in direct contact with the tank and connection points where propane can leak out.
Steel-toed shoes are recommended for safety gear. The empty propane tank can be difficult to handle and fall on your foot during replacement. A full propane cylinder is heavier than an empty cylinder, so the possibility of you losing control of the tank is increased because of the extra weight. Steel-toed shoes protect your feet from getting crushed under the weight of the tank.
A long-sleeved shirt is another recommended piece of protective gear worn during cylinder replacement. The shirt protects your skin from any inadvertent release of propane from the tank. Again, a small amount of propane escapes the cylinder when you first loosen the fuel line. If the shut off valve isn't working properly, a lot of propane can escape during the exchange. Your skin become irritated and a rash develops. The propane can also cause a mild form of frostbite. Your skin will tingle, become numb or begin to itch.