Compressed Gas Safety

Compressed gases are an integral part of the research work we carry out in the University, however can create safety risks around fire, explosion and manual handling, and health risks in terms of asphyxiation and toxic inhalation if not managed correctly.

The University has set, and is working toward, a standard as to how different classes of gas are to be installed, used and stored.

The H&S Co-ordinator in your College/ PSU will provide advice and guidance on compressed gas systems, and will be your primary contact. However, day to day management of compressed gases may be passed to a competent member of the team.  For further information on the arrangements within you College/ PSU contact your H&S Coordinator.

Working Safely

No work is to be undertaken with compressed gas which may expose employees, students or visitors to risks from the use, handling and storage of compressed gases, unless the risks have been managed via a risk assessment process.

Only persons that have completed the following training are authorised to use/change/move a compressed gas cylinder:

  • SU Gas Safe e-learning
  • Practical training in handling cylinders. Training is provided within your College/ PSUs form competent persons. For more information contact your H&S Coordinator.

All users are to follow the Standard Operating Procedures for the changing of gas cylinders outlined in the policy arrangements. It also includes detail on selecting a regulator and the replacement programme (every 5 years).

Register of Gases

All gases procured and kept on campus must be entered into the Quartzy database. Input information under a relevant database category e.g. Bay Campus gases or Singleton Campus gases.

Summary of Gas Use Principles

FLAMMABLES:

  • PIPED IN FROM OUTSIDE (PREFERRED)
  • FIXED INSTALLATION
  • 30 MINUTE FIRE RATED GAS CABINET
  • PIPED TO POINT OF USE FROM CABINET
  • WRITTEN SCHEME OF EXAMINATION REQUIRED

TOXICS:

  • FIXED INSTALLATION ONLY (NO TEMPORARY INSTALLATION)
  • 30 MINUTE VENTED FIRE RATED GAS CABINET
  • PIPED TO POINT OF USE FROM CABINET
  • WRITTEN SCHEME OF EXAMINATION REQUIRED

INERTS

  • TEMPORARY INSTALLATION ONLY IN ACCORDANCE WITH ARRANGEMENTS
  • CONFIEND SPACE RISK ASSESSMENT TO DETERMINE POTNTIAL FOR OXYGEN DEPLETION*
  • CONNECTED TO PRIMARY GAS SYSTEM, RESTRAINED BY SUITABLE WALL MOUNTED GAS CYLINDER BRACKET LOCATED AT A SUITABLE HEIGHT FOR THE SIZE OF THE GAS CYLINDER AND PIPED TO POINT OF USE.
  • WRITTEN SCHEME OF EXAMINATION REQUIRED                

To find out if your inert gas supply has the potential to deplete the oxygen in the room to less than 19.5% (which will then require an oxygen monitor):

Please use this  02 Depletion Calculator

Installations

All new installations must be in accordance with the policy arrangements.

For any supply greater than 0.5 Bar PSU, the supplier/installer must provide a written scheme of examination as part of the project handover operation and maintenance (O&M) information manual.

For new projects and installations the project co-ordinator will be responsible for ensuring a written scheme is in place (where applicable) and notifying E&FM of any compressed gas installations that will require future testing under the PSSR 2000.

For existing installations the Head of College is to carry out a review of the compressed gas installations to determine if a written scheme is required and if an inspection/ testing is required.

All toxic and flammable gases shall be point of use from within a 30 minute rated fire cabinet. Inert gases and oxygen are not required to be stored in cabinets.

If you require further clarification contact Estates & Facilities Management on: 5240

Temporary Gas Installations

A temporary gas installation is one that does not fall into the standards set out in the compressed gas policy arrangements and must be for a maximum of three months.

Only inert and oxidising gases may be subject to temporary installations. No temporary installations are to be in place for toxic or flammable gases.

Temporary gas installations may only be introduced in accordance with the Temporary Gas Installation Arrangements.

Specific Hazards

There is a standard of colour coding for the shoulders of compressed gas cylinders which will identify the class of gas and the associated hazards:

Owners and fillers of cylinders should satisfy themselves that the manufacturing requirements have been carried out by examining either:

• the written certificate which accompanies the gas cylinder; or,

• the stamp or mark of the relevant inspection body on the gas cylinder itself.

Arrangements, guidance, forms & templates

Guidance

Please email the Estates Helpdesk for advice.

Further Information

Any person (including staff, post graduates and under graduates) who uses compressed gas cylinders is required to complete both theory (e-learning) and practical safety training prior to use. No work/ transportation is to be undertaken with compressed gas unless you are trained.

Access our e-learning here.