It’s not unusual for service stations to offer propane refilling in addition to gasoline and diesel. Here are a few tips from the Oregon Office of the State Fire Marshal for propane safety at work and at home.
- Store cylinders in a cool area outside, away from extreme heat or a source of ignition. Cylinders exposed to heat may vent vapor, which may lead to a hazardous situation.
- Do not smoke near propane cylinders or containers, especially when handling or while transporting.
- Keep all combustible materials 10 feet away#from propane tanks.
- Provide ventilation in a vehicle when transporting cylinders. Do not transport more than 90 pounds of propane.
- Propane cylinders rated at 45 pounds or more should be transported in an upright position and secured with a safety strap.
- Seek assistance from a licensed propane dealer for repair or replacement of cylinders that leak. Never transport leaky cylinders.
- Always wear gloves and eye protection when handling propane cylinders. Direct liquid contact to unprotected skin can cause freeze burn.
- Be sure all valves are tightly closed. Install industry standard caps on valve openings when not connected.
- Routinely inspect propane cylinders for damage before using them. Do the “sniff test” before use or storage. Like natural gas, propane manufacturers are required to infuse the gas with a rotten egg smell.
- Be sure propane cylinders are properly labeled.
- Have a propane dealer inspect cylinders for retest dates, damage, and leaks.
Other considerations from our SAIF safety consultants:
- Place a roof over your propane refilling area #to protect employees from the elements.
- Position your propane refilling station in plain view of your front window if possible. Doing so improves the odds that someone can come to the assistance of another employee if things go wrong.
- Set up the station to minimize bending and reaching during the refilling process.
- Ensure your employees have read and understand the safety data sheet* for propane.
*Under the new Globally Harmonized System for the Classification and Labeling of Chemicals, material safety data sheet (MSDS) will be shortened to safety data sheet (SDS).
This article is from the fall 2012 issue of Comp News. See other articles from this publication.