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Compressed Gas Safety

Compressed gases are used throughout Stony Brook University for both academic and trades purposes. Pure gases and gas mixtures are used in research as reactants, carriers and in lasers. Welding and refrigeration charging are typical industrial applications involving compressed gases.

Applicable University Policy

EH&S Policy 1-5: Compressed Gas Handling and Storage

Summary of Requirements
  • Cylinders must be handled at high-energy sources. Always transport cylinders with the safety cap installed and use a cylinder cart. Do not roll them by hand along the floor or transport them on forklifts.
  • Always store cylinders upright and secure them using an approved lock-down device.
  • Always use the correct pressure regulator for the specific gas.
  • Do not store cylinders or lecture bottles with the regulator in place. If the regulator fails, the entire contents of the cylinder may be discharged.
  • CGA fittings differ for inert gases (e.g., He, Ar, N2), flammable gases (e.g., H2) and oxidizers (e.g., O2, N20)
  • Compressed gas cylinders, which contain acutely toxic gases, must be stored in a designated area
  • All compressed gas cylinders must be clearly marked with the correct chemical name
  • All cylinders should be labeled to indicate if the container is full or empty.

Individuals using compressed gases must be trained in the safe use of the material and pressurized systems. Hazard Communication or Chemical Hygiene training must be provided by Environmental Health and Safety. Primary responsibility for specific operations training is with the employee's supervisor. Environmental Health and Safety may be consulted as necessary.

  • Laboratories

    Compressed gases must be included in the Chemical Hygiene Plan's chemical inventory.
  • Other Work sites

    The Chemical Information List must include compressed gases if they are used or stored in the workplace. List additions or deletions must be made through Environmental Health and Safety.

Visual and other inspections shall be conducted as prescribed in Compressed Gas Association pamphlets C-6-1968 and C-8-1962 and in the Hazardous Materials Regulations of the Department of Transportation (49 CFR parts 171-179 and 14 CFR part 103) to determine that compressed gas cylinders under a laboratory or other work area's control are in a safe condition to the extent that this can be determined by usual inspection.

Applicable Regulations   
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