Gas can leak in the vehicle
• Leaks of gas in an enclosed vehicle are dangerous and can cause fire, explosion, poisoning or asphyxiation.
• Leaks can occur from cylinder valves leaking, or being knocked open, or from pressure relief devices.
Liquefied gases have extra hazards
• Liquefied gases (e.g. liquid oxygen or liquid nitrogen) leaking from relief valves or toppled containers quickly evaporate creating a lot of gas.
• Spills of cryogenic liquids onto metal, such as other cylinders, can make it brittle and shatter.
Cylinders can be heavy and difficult to handle
• Most full cylinders of gas weigh over 25kg and can weigh over 100kg.
• During loading or unloading, injuries can occur from falling cylinders and from incorrect manual handling.
• Additional hazards from overloading the vehicle or unbalanced loading are poor handling and reduced vehicle braking.
Cylinders can move in the vehicle
• Cylinders can cause injury and damage if they can move while the vehicle is cornering or braking.
• Any unrestrained cylinder is a hazard.
• Labels show the hazards from the gas and are the only way to positively identify the contents of a cylinder or container.
• If you are transporting cylinders “at work” check how the Dangerous Goods Transport Regulations (ADR) apply to you.
• If you are transporting cylinders only for domestic use by a private individual the regulations do not apply, but you have a “duty of care” to transport gases safely.
How to stay safe
• When loading the vehicle ensure the valve is closed and there is no leak of gas.
• Do not rely on regulators or other equipment to shut off the gas – always use the cylinder valve.
• Ensure the valve protection cap or guard is in place, if the cylinder is designed to have one.
• Never carry toxic gases in unventilated vehicles.
Provide good ventilation
• Use a well ventilated vehicle – ideally an open or flatbed truck, or a vehicle with a gas area sealed from the driver’s compartment and vented to the outside.
• It is recommended not to use passenger cars and vans, but if used turn on the fan and keep windows partly open to provide good ventilation.
• Never leave cylinders in an unventilated vehicle
Ensure all cylinders are well secured
• Ensure cylinders are evenly loaded and secured enough to prevent movement during cornering, acceleration and emergency braking.
• Ensure vehicle is not overloaded
• Cryogenic liquid containers must be secured in an upright vertical position, and ideally cylinders with relief devices too.
Loading and unloading
• For heavy cylinders, use mechanical aids or get help to load and unload the vehicle.
• Use safety shoes, gloves and eye protection to help prevent injury.
• Unload the vehicle as soon as possible. Never store gases in an unventilated vehicle - especially flammable gases, because even small leaks can build up to make an explosive atmosphere.
• Read the label to understand the hazards of the gases you are handling.
Emergency actions for leaking gas
For all gases:
• Stop the vehicle as soon as possible, turn off the engine and get out.
• As you leave the vehicle leave your door open, to let the gas escape.
• Keep away from the vehicle and try to keep members of the public away.
• Leave gas to safely vent to atmosphere.
• If you suspect a leak in a parked vehicle, do not get in it.
• Minimise potential ignition sources and do not smoke.
• Call the emergency services – tell them your location and the number and type of cylinders involved.
• If you suspect a leak in a parked vehicle, do not try to enter the vehicle or activate remote locking.
Call your gas supplier for advice!