Skip to Main Content

From arts studios to research labs, industrial safety is an important part of many learning and work environments at the university. Learn about best practices and guidelines for operating equipment and working within a variety of industrial settings.

Compressed Gas Cylinders

The variety of compressed gas cylinders found in labs and shops throughout the university present a range of hazards, from explosions to toxic exposures. Because of this, special storage and handling precautions are necessary.

Compressed gases are usually divided into 6 basic categories, with some gases falling into more than one classification. The categories are:​

  • Flammable Gases
  • Inert Gases
  • Oxygen and Oxidizing Gases
  • Highly Toxic Gases
  • Acid and Alkaline Gases
  • Cryogenic Liquefied Gases

The following references for storage and handling can help ensure your safety: ​ ​


Gas Cylinder Safety Tips

Handling & Use

  • Secure all cylinders by a chain, strap, or on a cart (regardless of tank size)​
  • ​Replace all cylinders in questionable condition
  • ​Label all cylinders with content and stage of use (e.g. "full", "in use", "empty"). To request gas cylinder tags, email ( or call 305-348-SAFE (7233)
  • ​Use gas cylinders in well ventilated areas only​. Do not strike or allow cylinders to strike against one another
  • Keep cylinders away from sparks, flames, or radiant heat
  • ​Place cap on cylinders that are not in use or when a regulator is not attached
  • A proper gas regulator is required during use; improvised adaptors are not allowed
  • Release pressure and close valve at the end of the day's use
  • Handle empty cylinders with the same care as full cylinders


  • Move cylinders only on a hand truck or other cart designed for such purpose​
  • Do not handle more than once cylinder at a time unless a cart designed for such purpose is utilized


  • Store in cool, well-ventilated and protected area, away from emergency exits
  • Do not let the temperature of the cylinders exceed 38​°C (100°F)
  • Do not store corrosive gases for more than 6 months
  • Store cylinders by compatibility (e.g. flammables 20 feet away from oxidizers)

Storage Safety

Finding storage on campus can be a challenge, but safe storage of materials should always be observed. Following these guidelines can help ensure that your storage is in compliance with best practices:

Fire Safety:

Cylinder Storage:

Hazardous Chemicals

Hot Work

Hot work includes any activities that involve welding, cutting, soldering, or brazing, usually involving the use of portable gas or arc welding equipment. These activities introduce significant fire hazards, so it’s important to ensure that all appropriate safety procedures are followed and that all permits are filed. In addition to collecting important information, the Hot Work Permit also includes a step-by-step safety checklist: