The word gas implies that a chemical is in it’s gasous state. Because there are numerous types of gases one can work with it is vital that proper education be obtained from a professional instructor prior to comencing work.
Risks Posed By Gases
Poisonous or toxic: such as ammonia, carbon dioxide, carbon monixide, chlorine.
Explosive: E.g. propane, hydrogen.
Corrosive: they burn through things. E.g. acid, sulfur dioxide, chlorine.
Pyrophoric: they burn when they come in contact with air and they can ignite spontaneously. E.g. silane, phosphine.
Most accidents occur because of;
Not using adequate personal safety equipment.
Poor handling and storage techniques.
Faulty equipment, e.g. valves on cylinders.
Never smoke around gases.
Always use proper breathing masks.
Use body protection, such as plastic attire, face and eye protection, incase of an accident.
Have eyewash and body wash stations readily available.
Any container that contains gas, e.g. a cylinder, should be properly and clearly labelled. If the label is damaged mark as ‘unidentifiable’ and return to supplier immediately.
A competent person should inspect piping systems for leaks on a regular basis.
Heat sources and gases should be kept away from each other.
Proper storage of gases is vital. Some gases need to be stored at specific temperatures. And there are some gases that should never be stored together, e.g. acetylene and propane.
Assure there is adequate ventilation in the room.
When working with gases in cylinders;
Make sure all cylinders are properly labelled.
Do not rely on the color of the cylinder for identifying a gas.
Cylinders should be placed on their sides, or if standing up they need to be tied with a chain so there is no chance of it falling.
If the valve breaks, because of the pressure, the valve or the cylindere, or both, will project with great force.
Always know what’s in the cylinder, and how much pressure there is.