CSM logo - horizontal

Compress Gas Cylinder Handling

Compressed gas cylinders present some particular hazards which can be the source of serious injuries. Keep in mind that the average gas cylinder weighs about 80 pounds. Safety must be your number one priority when handling, using, and storing all types of compressed gas cylinders.  

Below are some excellent safety tips and reminders to help you stay safe while handling compressed gas cylinders: 

  • Compressed gas cylinder contents must be identifiable. Do not accept a cylinder that doesn’t identify its content.  
    • Conduct visual and other inspections as prescribed in the Hazardous Materials Regulation of DOT (49 CFR Parts 171-179 and 14 CFR Part 103) 
  • Before moving a cylinder, even a short distance, always ensure its safety cap is on. It should also be on when the cylinder is not being used. 
    • When a cylinder cap cannot be removed by hand, tag the cylinder “Do not use” and return it to the vendor. 
  • Never drag a cylinder across the floor. This can damage the walls of the base of the cylinder. 
  • Do not hand roll cylinders for anything more than a few feet. 
  • If a cylinder starts to fall do not try to catch it. 
    • More people are hurt by attempting to catch cylinders than any other hazard associated with cylinders. 
  • Always wear steel-toed shoes when handling cylinders. 
  • The safest way to move cylinders is by a cylinder hand truck. 
    • They have a curved brace that can cradle this cylinder. It also has chains or straps to secure the cylinder in place. 
  • When a cylinder is at the desired destination, it needs to be secured safely in place. 
  • Each location where cylinders are used should be equipped with a fastening system. 
    • Some examples of fastening systems are brackets, racks, or stands. 
  • For maximum stability, the cylinder should be secured at two points.  
    • Straps or chains are usually used for this.


This article is provided solely as a reference tool to be used for information purposes only. The information in this article shall not be construed or interpreted as providing legal or any other advice. The information material does not amend the provisions of any insurance policy issued by CompSource Mutual. It is not a representation that coverage does or does not exist for any particular claim or loss under any such policy. Coverage depends on the facts and circumstances involved in the claim or loss, all applicable policy provisions, and any applicable law.

Meet Our Safety Team

Related Safety Resources