Storing gases in cylinders… safely and securely
Keeping people safe in the workplace is non-negotiable. Many Australian workers do not realise that any gas stored in a cylinder is classed as a Dangerous Good, according the Australian Dangerous Goods Code (Edition 7.5).
Dangerous Goods are defined as “Substances … assigned to one of nine classes according to the hazard or the most predominant of the hazards they present.” Gases are categorised as a Class 2 substance, which is furthermore divided into three divisions to include flammable gases; non-flammable, non-toxic gases; and toxic gases.
Gas storage and Australian Standards
Based on this information, the safe and secure storage of gases in the workplace is crucial. A good gas storage cage has been built to meet the requirements of AS 4332-2004: The storage and handling of gases in cylinders. Such requirements include abundant ventilation, non-combustible materials of construction and correct placarding according to regulatory requirements.
It’s also important to store gas cylinders in the correct type of cage, according to the division which the gas belongs to.
For example, there are purpose-built cages for flammable gas, be it 9 kg BBQ LPG cylinders, or larger, LPG forklift gas bottles. Or there may be storage requirements for high-pressure gas cylinders, which may contain either flammable or non-flammable substances. Acetylene, for example, is a highly flammable gas that is usually stored in a high-pressure cylinder, while oxygen, which is also stored in a high-pressure cylinder, is classed as a Division 2.2 non-flammable, non-toxic substance. High-pressure gas cages have been specifically designed for the secure storage of either type; however, the two must never be stored together at the same time.
A good high-pressure gas storage cage will include warning signage supplied separately, so the user can placard the cage according to which type of substance they are storing.
Security is also an important feature when storing gas cylinders. A gas storage cage that can be locked will ensure unauthorised or untrained personnel do not have access to these Dangerous Goods. Keeping gas cylinders under lock and key also prevents any misuse or theft in open or unsecured areas.
What to look for?
When it’s time to invest in a secure gas storage solution, the first thing to consider is the type and volume of gas to be stored. The Australian Standard provides maximum volumes which can be stored on-site safely. Once this has been determined (and the volume falls within the limits), the options can be narrowed down to the cage type and size — BBQ LPG, forklift LPG or high pressure. Each of these cage types is available in a variety of sizes to suit your on-site requirements. Look for a purpose-built gas cage that meets all the requirements of Australian Standards to ensure maximum safety for your team and workplace.
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