Industrial and specialty gases are extremely versatile substances. However, they can also bring new safety hazards to the workplace. Anyone who uses gases must have completed the relevant training courses and handle gases in line with the applicable safety procedures. You can virtually eliminate risks if you are equipped with the right knowledge about gas properties and safe handling procedures.
Compressed gases can be classified in the following categories:
Flammable gases in the right concentration in air or oxygen burn or explode when ignited. If the mixture is too lean or too rich it will not ignite. Rich mixtures, however, are dangerous because they may form explosive mixtures at the outer edge of an area.
Oxidisers are not flammable, but they contribute to combustion of other materials by yielding oxygen. Oxidisers in concentrated and/or pressurized state should not come into contact with even the smallest amounts of grease, oil or any organic material.
Inert gases reduce oxygen levels and limit combustion when fed into a room or confined space. They are used in extinguishing systems in areas where water would cause too much damage, for example in rooms with electronic devices.
Toxic + Corrosive Gases
Compressed gas or vapor that has a median lethal concentration (LC50) in air of 200 parts per million (ppm) by volume, or 2 milligrams per liter or less of mist, fume, or dust, when administered by continuous inhalation for one hour (or less if death occurs within one hour) to albino rats weighing between 200 and 300 grams each.