OHS Code Explanation Guide

Published Date: July 01, 2009
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Part 10 Fire and Explosion Hazards

Section 173 Horizontal cylinder storage

Alberta Human Services is concerned about the uncontrolled storage of compressed gas cylinders in the horizontal position. Compressed gas cylinders can leak or be damaged in transport. Hazards can be created when a cylinder is subject to impact from a vehicle accident, when a cylinder is not properly secured in a vehicle or when the product being transported is released and exposes workers to hazardous materials.

Issues of particular concern are:

(a) preventing the cylinder from becoming a horizontal projectile if the valve stem is damaged – the bottom of the cylinder must be in direct contact with a “back stop” strong enough to prevent the cylinder from passing through it. Direct contact prevents the cylinder from accelerating and gaining momentum;

(b) scoring of a cylinder during insertion and removal from its horizontal location – this can create weak spots that may result in cylinder failure; and

(c) cylinders must not be handled by their valve or valve protection cap – damage to a cylinder’s valve can result in uncontrolled venting of the cylinder contents.

To ensure all these concerns are addressed, a professional engineer must certify horizontal storage compartments on vehicles.