What are best practices for moving cylinders and liquid containers?

Cylinders and containers must always be moved carefully. Mishandling that results in a damaged valve or ruptured cylinder can expose personnel to the hazards associated with these gases. In addition, most gas cylinders are heavy and bulky. A cylinder striking someone or pinching a finger, toe, or other extremity is a common cause of injury. For these reasons, all cylinder handlers must always wear certain minimum personal protective equipment prescribed by OSHA:

  • Gloves to protect the hands against common pinching injuries.
  • Safety glasses to protect the eyes against injuries associated with pressure release.
  • Safety shoes with metatarsal supports to protect against foot injuries from falling cylinders.

Before moving a cylinder to the storage area or point of use or before returning the cylinder to the supplier, ensure the following:

  • The outlet valve is fully closed.
  • The outlet valve dust plug or pressure cap is on tight for cylinders equipped with these protection devices.
  • The valve protection cap is properly secured in place on cylinders with neck threads.

Note: Valve caps must always be in place while moving or transporting cylinders or when they are in storage.

While moving full or empty cylinders:

  • Always use carts or hand trucks designed for this purpose.
  • Never drop cylinders or allow them to strike each other violently.
  • Never lift cylinders by the cap or with a lifting magnet.

After moving a cylinder to its point of use, secure the cylinder in place. Use cylinder stands, clamps, or other securing devices recommended by your supplier.