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General Hazards

General Hazards

The packaging and storage of industrial gases involves the following types of hazards:

  • pressure
  • temperature

These two hazards may be combined in certain cases. Because of these hazards, all gases are classified as dangerous goods according to legislation.

Another hazard that is common to almost all gases is that of asphyxiation due to lack of oxygen. The second breath of air we take that has been replaced by a gas containing no oxygen will result in unconsciousness. If help is not provided immediately, the victim will die in just a few minutes. For those gases considered to be hazardous because of their specific properties (such as flammability or toxicity), safety information is provided and safety precautions are implemented.

Specific Hazards

The specific hazards of some gases increase the general level of risk. As with any chemical product, the following characteristics may be hazardous:

  • flammability (acetylene, hydrogen, propane, hydrocarbons, etc.)
  • oxidising character (oxygen, nitrous oxide, etc.)
  • corrosiveness (ammonia, etc.)
  • toxicity (ammonia, carbon monoxide, etc.)

These hazards, which exist during transport and use, are indicated on our products using the dangerous goods symbols shown here.

Our employees and those of our customers are now fully aware of the importance of safety. For further information concerning hazards and precautions, click on the table of gas hazards and precautions.

Oxygen (O2)

Hazards

  • Oxidiser
  • Considerably accelerates and sustains combustion may react strongly with other combustible materials

Precautions

  • do not use with oil or grease
  • only use equipment approved for oxygen use
  • keep away from all sources of ignition
  • Store away from flammable gases and other flammable products

Oxygen is supplied as a compressed gas or as a low temperature liquid.

Nitrogen and Argon (N2 & Ar)

Hazards

  • May cause asphyxiation if they replace air in a confined space

Precautions

  • store and use in a well ventilated area

First Aid

  • Never attempt to rescue a victim of asphyxiation without using a self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA)

These gases are supplied as compressed gases or as a low temperature liquids.

Acetylene (C2H2)

Hazards

  • Extremely flammable, may form an explosive mixture with air unstable and decomposes violently under the effect of heat or pressure.
  • Forms explosive acetylides in combination with copper, silver or mercury.

Precautions

  • Acetylene use pressure must not exceed 150 kpa
  • Install flash back arrestors on all cutting equipment
  • Store in a well-ventilated area, away from oxygen-carrying materials

Acetylene is supplied dissolved under pressure in acetone.

Hydrogen (H2)

Hazards

  • Extremely flammable, may form an explosive mixture with air burns with a colorless and invisible flame

Precautions

  • Keep away from all sources of ignition
  • Store in a well-ventilated area, away from oxidising materials

Hydrogen is supplied as a compressed gas.

Carbon Dioxide (CO2)

Hazards

  • May cause asphyxiation if CO2 displaces air in a confined space
  • Low concentrations increase the breathing rate and cause headache
  • CO2 is heavier than air and may accumulate in confined spaces, particularly at floor level or below

Precautions

  • Store and use in a well-ventilated area

First Aid

  • Never attempt to rescue a victim of asphyxiation without using a self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA)

Carbon Dioxide is supplied as either compressed and liquefied or as a low temperature liquid, or in solid form at low temperature (Dry Ice).

Nitrous Oxide (N20)

Hazards

  • Oxidant
  • Considerably accelerates and sustains combustion
  • May react strongly with combustible fuels or materials
  • Heavier than air, may accumulate in confined areas, especially at floor level and below

Precautions

  • Do not use with oil or grease
  • Keep away from all sources of ignition
  • Store in a well-ventilated area, away from gases and other flammable products.
  • Nitrous Oxide is supplied as either compressed and liquefied or as a low temperature liquid.

Nitrous Oxide is supplied as either compressed and liquefied or as a low temperature liquid.