Storage of gas cylinders in vehicles

Background

Workers have died or sustained serious injuries resulting from the explosion of gas cylinders stored in work vehicles. These incidents have the potential to kill or seriously injure workers, as well as the general public.

Hazard

Gas leaking from inappropriately stored cylinders can potentially be ignited from any ignition source i.e., static electricity, naked flame, people smoking, electronic devices such as mobile phones and keyless remote entry devices. Any ignition source may create a life threatening explosion.

Control measures

When transporting and storing gas cylinders in work vehicles, ensure:

  • Hoses and regulators are removed.
  • Cylinder valves are closed, (check for leaks with soapy water).
  • Cylinders are stored in an upright position and secured.

Fire-fighting equipment is fitted to the vehicle.

When stored in open type vehicle

If the vehicle's cargo area is not open to the passenger compartment (e.g. ute, tray truck or trailer).

  • Cylinders are not to be covered by tonneau cover or tarpaulin.
  • Cylinders are not to be stored in an enclosed service body, tool box or enclosed canopy.

When stored in enclosed type vehicle

If the vehicle's cargo area is open to a passenger compartment and/or an engine compartment (as in most types of vans), ensure the vehicle has a separate compartment (cabinet) that is airtight from the rest of the cargo area. Such cabinet must be:

  • Large enough to store all cylinders carried.
  • Permanently vented to the outside atmosphere.
  • Affixed on it’s outside a flammable gas label indicating the storage of flammable gas cylinders.
  • Remain closed and sealed when not loading or unloading cylinders from the vehicle. 

Cylinders should always be removed from the cabinet prior to use. Empty cylinders are to be treated the same as if full and must also be stored in the cabinet.

Regular maintenance and inspection of the cabinet and seals is to be conducted in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications.

Chris Giblin V2 2016

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