Compressed Gas Safety In Laboratories

Compressed gases are commonly used in laboratories. The gases used can range from the inert gases to highly flammable and toxic gases. The compressed gas cylinders used for storage of the gases are one of the most common safety hazards in the labs. 

Extreme caution must be exercised in handling and storing the compressed gases. The safety starts with the lab design and planning. It’s critical to clearly identify the contents of the gas cylinders and label them accurately. Likewise, good safety practices must be followed whilst transporting the cylinders, storing & securing them, and even segregating the incompatible gases. 

In this blog, let’s look at the common compressed gas used in laboratories and the hazards they pose to humans and the environment.

Gas Hazard Examples
Inert Gases Can cause asphyxiation by displacing the air necessary to support life. Helium, Argon, Nitrogen
Cryogenic Gases and Liquids Can cause freezing burns, frostbite, and destruction of tissue. Helium, liquid nitrogen, and liquid argon
Oxidizers Can vigorously accelerate combustion; therefore, keep away from all flammable and organic materials. Oxygen, Chlorine
Flammable Gases Can cause serious fire and explosion hazards. Methane, Propane, Hydrogen, Acetylene
Corrosive Gases Can accelerate corrosion of materials in the presence of moisture, readily attack the skin, mucous membranes, and eyes. Some corrosive gases are also toxic. Chlorine, Hydrogen Chloride, Ammonia
Poison Gases Can present a serious hazard to laboratory staff as they are extremely toxic. Arsine, Phosphine, Phosgene

Ref: Univ. of Oregon

The EHS (Environment, Health, and Safety) guidelines for best practices and safety standards must be incorporated early on starting with the laboratory design. Kewaunee advisory service offers the best-in-class design, advisory, and turnkey execution services for general lab layout, infrastructure, equipment, HVAC, exhaust, gas distribution & electrical, fire protection, lab effluent & plumbing systems, operations and practically all aspects. Talk to us before you start your next lab project.

Kewaunee, the global leader in total laboratory solutions, empowers organisations to achieve competitive advantage through safe, efficient, and contemporary laboratories. In existence since 1906, Kewaunee powers the laboratories for over 5,000 customers in more than 100 countries.

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