Your Cylinder and Equipment Safety Resource Center

Safe Use of Compressed Gas Cylinders & Containers

Compressed and liquefied gases play a vital and growing role throughout the world and are used in a wide range of applications. These gases are stored in several different types of containers including high or low pressure cylinders, bulk containers, and pressurized and unpressurized liquid containers. Some containers are large and heavy, and some are designed to be small and lightweight for easy portability. Each type of container can be a different size, painted a different color, and can have different equipment attached. Each type of container is manufactured, marked, and labeled according to governmental specifications.

There are 5 basic responsibilities for any compressed gas cylinder or container user:

  • make no modifications to the container and related equipment and maintain in good working condition;
  • read and understand the cylinder or container markings and labels and make sure that they remain in legible condition with no alterations;
  • store, handle, and use the cylinder or container so that it will not be damaged;
  • understand the risks to safe use of the cylinder or container, assess the environment where the cylinder or container will be stored or used to ensure that conditions in the environment are compatible with the gas and container; and
  • report any damage or problems to the gas supplier or distributor immediately so that the situation can be addressed.

Anyone who handles compressed gas cylinders or containers should be aware of their potential hazards and safe handling practices. This safety poster, provided by the Compressed Gas Association, provides basic safety information for the safe use of cylinders, containers, and related equipment.

Cylinder & Container Safety Reminders

  • Use equipment designed for moving cylinders and containers.
  • Secure cylinders and containers when being used or stored.
  • Use the correct valve outlet connection.
  • Connect all equipment before opening valve.
  • Never return gases or other products into a cylinder or container.
  • Immediately notify your gas supplier of any equipment issues, damage, or leaks.

Poster Downloads

CGA offers safety posters as educational resources to support the safe use of our industry’s products and equipment. It is important to note that these posters are not a substitute for reading and following codes and regulations, industry standards, and supplier instructions. Download your free poster today!

NOTE – Use self-print files for printing at your home or office, and full bleed files for professional printing.

Additional Resources

Product Information: Cylinders, Containers, and Related Equipment

Cylinders and containers are provided by the gas supplier or distributor as a convenient device for storing and delivering a product to the user. The user is responsible for the safe handling, use, and storage of the cylinder or container and its contents and for returning it to the gas supplier or distributor in the same safe condition that it was received.

In addition to the safe handling considerations and hazards presented by cylinders, containers, and equipment, the gases contained by these vessels also present additional hazards. The hazard common to all compressed gases is pressure. It is present at all times, ready to forcefully escape at any given opportunity. When not properly controlled, it can lead to serious injury or cause equipment damage. Examples of additional hazardous properties that gases can present include:

  • extremely cold;
  • flammable;
  • asphyxiant;
  • oxidizer;
  • corrosive; and
  • toxic.

Some gases can have more than one of these properties. To know what specific hazards are presented by the product that you are working with, you must read and understand the safety data sheet (SDS) and product label.