Compressed gas cylinders are portable tanks used to store, transport, and dispense gases for use in a broad range of industrial, research, and medical applications, including carbon dioxide (CO2) and propane.
A large volume of gas is compressed into a relatively small volume of the cylinder creating a versatile high-pressure cylinder that can be easily delivered wherever needed. But compressed gases like Propane and CO2 can create potential health and safety hazards if not properly handled.
All Drivers accepting Gigs containing cylinders of compressed gases should take all necessary precautions and follow best safety practices when loading, transporting and unloading these Gigs.
Cylinders Should Be Transported Upright and Secured In Your Vehicle
Gases such as propane and CO2 should not be transported lying down. The gas in these cylinders is in liquefied form and there is a risk of gases escaping from the valve and then collecting in sufficient quantities to form an explosive or asphyxiant mixture inside the vehicle.
Therefore transporting the cylinders in an upright position is always preferred. Cylinders should be placed only on flat floors or platforms and fully secured so that they won't move around in a vehicle, or bang into each other. Using a cylinder tote box or transport rack in your vehicle for this purpose is encouraged. Always keep the protective valve cap in place during the delivery.
Remember that cylinders can be very heavy and will be travelling at the same speed as your vehicle. However, unlike your vehicle, they don’t have brakes and unless they are adequately secured they can move forward under braking and cause severe damage to your vehicle and injure you.
An Open Vehicle or Trailer is Preferred For Delivering Compressed Gas Cylinders
Before offering on a Gig containing compressed gases, you must have a vehicle with adequate stowage points for securing all the cylinders included in the Gig, without overloading or affecting the handling or braking of, your vehicle.
Because there is always a risk of leaks, compressed gas cylinders must be transported in a well-ventilated space, separate from the Driver, such as a flatbed truck or trailer. It is not recommended that you deliver compressed gases in a passenger vehicle.
However, if you are delivering in a passenger vehicle, you should follow the following best safety practices:
Secure all cylinders upright on the rear floor or in the trunk inside a tote box and:
- Keep the vehicle windows open, and if the cylinder is in the trunk keep it partially open, to ensure proper ventilation.
- Ensure the load is secured such that the cylinders cannot move or bang into each other.
- Eliminate ignition sources from your vehicle that may react with the gases:
- Keep your vehicle is clean and tidy.
- Keep hydrocarbons out of the vehicle e.g. fuel cans or oily rags.
Other Best Safety Practices
- No smoking while transporting gases.
- Go directly to your destination.
- Do not leave cylinders inside the trunk or inside a closed vehicle.
- Immediately unload when arriving at drop off location.
You should NOT transport Propane or CO2 unless you can ventilate your vehicle / keep all the windows open and keep the cylinder upright at all times.
Loading and Unloading Compressed Gas Cylinders
You should consider how you are going to get the cylinders in and out of your vehicle safely without injury to you or others. Falling cylinders are particularly dangerous and many people are hurt when moving cylinders.
- Prior to leaving the pick up location, you should check that cylinder valves are properly closed or that valve protection caps are in place and that the cylinder is not dented or leaking.
- Smaller cylinders have handles meant to be used to carry or move the cylinder – use them.
- Bigger and heavier cylinders should be moved with a handcart specially designed to transport cylinders.
- Do not use the protective valve cap for moving or lifting the cylinder.
- You can also move cylinders for short distances by tilting and rolling them on their bottom edges. Do not drag, slide or roll a cylinder on its side!
- Do not drop a cylinder, handle cylinders roughly, permit cylinders to violently strike each other, or allow things to bang into them.
- Place cylinders onto firm level ground.
- Never turn your back on a free-standing cylinder.
- Never try to catch falling cylinders.
- Wear heavy toed shoes and gloves.
In Case of an Emergency.
If the Sender gives you Shipping Papers, keep them in the front seat within arms reach. You should review them before leaving the pickup location and note any emergency number provided.
The exact actions to take in case of an emergency depend on the type of gas being carried, but if you do discover a leak from a cylinder containing a compressed gas, first:
- Bring your vehicle to a stop as soon as possible, and if safe, get your vehicle to an isolated place.
- If safe, try to close any valves that may be open.
- Fully ventilate your vehicle; open all the doors.
- Do not try to re-enter vehicle, or turn on the ignition.
- Call Roadie Support for further instructions.
A leaking gas is best dealt with by allowing the gas to safely vent to atmosphere in a well-ventilated area. Leave the vehicle and keep well back.
FINALLY REMEMBER THAT A SAFE DELIVERY IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE DRIVER - SO DON’T TAKE CHANCES.
Drive safe, arrive safe