A safety information profile is presented for the handling and charging of compressed gas cylinders (SIC-1389). Four gases are used for illustration: nitrogen (7727379), oxygen (7782447), acetylene (74862), and chlorine (7782505). Cylinder filling and utilization processes are described, potential health and safety hazards are outlined, and hazards related to the use of each gas are reviewed. Existing controls are presented, and some accident and illness data are included. A related study is cited. Industry trends are discussed, and extensive federal standards are outlined. A list of names and addresses of industry associations and other interested parties is provided. It is concluded that most injuries result from noncompliance with existing regulations and established good practices. Regulations for cylinder valve maintenance and testing are recommended, together with a simplification of existing standards. Additional data are included on stolen cylinders, nonenforcement of Department of Transportation regulations, accident reports, and cylinder repairs.
Division of Safety Research, NIOSH, Morgantown, West Virginia