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Safe storage of end of life gas cylinders

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The amount of gas cylinders stored had a greater total capacity than 500L, which means HAZCHEM placarding should be in place. This is probably the most common issue with gas cylinder storage. If there was a fire on this site, deaths could occur as a result of the lack of warning and placarding, and site operators might find themselves criminally liable.

Ecofeet offer a gas cylinder recycling and decommissioning service to all areas of Australia, and can provide frequent visits to keep your gas cylinder stockpile below 500L total capacity.  Suitable cylinders are tested and stamped by a licensed test station and reintroduced to the market.  We carry dangerous goods transport licenses, as all loads of LPG cylinders with a total capacity greater than 250L must be placarded.

Below is a list of the other common mistakes when storing end of life LPG cylinders, fire extinguishers, helium, nitrogen, argon and oxygen gas cylinders.
Never store oxygen cylinders with LPG or other flammable gases. Oxygen is incompatible with flammable gases. Ideally you should segregate all dangerous goods by class, but storing oxygen with LPG is the biggest no-no.
Placarding of the premises is required if you exceed 500L of storage capacity of LPG, a Class 2.1 flammable good. One kilogram of LPG is approximately 2L of capacity. You are storing more than 500L capacity if you have:

  • 6 X 44kg cylinders
  • 5 X car or forklift cylinders
  • 21 X 12kg BBQ cylinders

If you have more than 500L capacity you must have HAZCHEM placards at all road and rail entrances, adjacent to where goods are stored externally, and at the entrance of any building in which the dangerous goods are stored. It doesn’t matter if there is no gas in the cylinders. Unless the cylinders are thoroughly cleaned so that there is no discernible trace of the dangerous goods, they are considered to be full.  There is no need for site operators to vent the gas before collection – it is unnecessary and dangerous.

Unless you have the proper procedures in place, do not store more than 5000L of LPG capacity, this is known as a manifest quantity, and requires the site to be a prescribed premises.

If you are storing in excess of 500L of LPG cylinder capacity, Ecofeet are not qualified to advise you of HAZCHEM requirements. You should seek the advice of a dangerous goods specialist. The above information is provided on good faith, and while every effort has been made to ensure it is correct, transfer station operators should carry out their own investigations.