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How To: Safely Transport Gas Cylinders

Ensuring that you transport gas cylinders in a safe and responsible manner is essential to the safety and welfare of your employees and the general public. Gas cylinders need to be respected as they can be extremely dangerous if they aren’t transported with the utmost care, so understanding the steps you need to take in order to safely move these products is vital.

Read on to find out more about the laws surrounding transporting gas cylinders and how gas cylinders should be transported for both domestic and commercial use.

Laws Surrounding Transporting Gas Cylinders

The Carriage of Dangerous Goods Regulations (ADR) 2009 place a statutory requirement on all employers to protect everyone who is either directly involved with, or who may become involved with (e.g. members of the public), the carriage of dangerous goods by road.

This legislation covers all goods considered dangerous by the ADR, which includes transporting gas cylinders in vehicles.

It’s worth noting that these regulations do not apply in the following scenarios:

  • When private individuals carry dangerous goods, which are packaged for retail sale and intended solely for personal use
  • When dangerous goods are carried only incidentally to the main enterprise’s main activity (e.g. a plumber carrying propane gas bottles on his way to a job)

Despite these exemptions, Gas Safe still recommends that any organisation transporting dangerous goods, such as butane gas bottles, follows the basic legal safety regulations within ADR, which include:

  • Driver training
  • Vehicle ventilation
  • Safety Equipment
  • Basic safety training (with gases)

You should always ensure that you comply with the following points too:

  • Never allow anyone to smoke in, or near to, any vehicle that is being used to transport gas bottles
  • Never carry more than 333kg of gas without an ADR license
  • Do not operate any sources of ignition near the gas bottles, this includes lanterns and cigarette lighters, among other things
  • Do not carry any unnecessary passengers whilst transporting gas cylinders

If at any point you smell gas whilst transporting bottles for either commercial or domestic use, immediately pull over in a safe place, stop the engine and do not move the vehicle until the source of the leak has been found and the vehicle has been declared safe by a competent person.

If you are unable to find the source of the leak, call a competent person immediately, maximise ventilation by fully opening all doors, windows and vents where possible and be sure not to turn on any electrical equipment.

It’s also worth noting that these guidelines apply to a whole host of dangerous products, such as transporting oxygen cylinders, and are in accordance with LPG transport regulations.

Gas Bottles

Transporting Gas Cylinders For Domestic Use

If you’re using gas for domestic purposes and transporting the cylinder in a car or van, it is worth noting that you must abide by safety regulations for transporting the product. They must be secured in the vehicle so that they won’t shift if you have to make an emergency stop or another sudden manoeuvre. It’s worth noting that if you don’t have your gas cylinders completely secured in your vehicle and you’re stopped by the police, you will be fined.

Here’s a few top tips for transporting gas cylinders in your vehicle for domestic use:

  • Secure your cannister so it doesn’t roll around
  • Keep the cylinder upright
  • If you have a trailer, put the cylinder in that
  • Ensure the cylinder is in an area that is easy to access and inspect
  • Do not leave the cylinder in direct sunlight or a hot car for long periods of time

Safely Transporting Gas Cylinders for Businesses

If you are transporting gas cylinders for commercial use, or are delivering gas cylinders that have been sold through your business to domestic customers, you should consider the following:

Ensure that any driver who will be transporting the goods are trained in and follow basic safety requirements such as:

  • Knowing the associated hazards and dangers of the goods being transported
  • Understanding best practice when it comes to the safe handling of gas cylinders
  • Have a working understanding of emergency procedures and the use of fire-fighting appliances

If any training has been carried out, this should always be recorded in writing by both the employee and employer. Along with this, training should always be periodically supplemented with refresher training to take into account any regulation changes.

Any vehicle that is used for the transportation of gas cylinders should be open, and if this cannot be achieved, then the vehicle must be well ventilated. Any cylinders carried on the vehicle must have a label that is produced in accordance with current legislation attached to it, if the label is removed or defaced you should not load the cylinder onto your vehicle.

Each cylinder valve must be closed during transit, and any equipment that is connected to them must be unattached. Furthermore, all gas cylinders must be secured properly and should not project beyond the sides or end of the vehicle.

Each vehicle that will carry cylinders must also carry a 2kg fire extinguisher to fight any engine or cab fires that may occur during transit.

Gas Cylinders
If you require any further advice or guidance on how to best transport or handle any dangerous gases, then please refer to our safety and storage documents, where you’ll find a whole host of best practice guidelines. If you are still unsure about any aspect of handling gas, then be sure to get in touch with our experts today who will be more than happy to discuss further with you.

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