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Compressed Gas Safety

Standard Operating Procedure

Building: Combs Research Building
Room: 222
Department: Markey Cancer Center
PI: Andrew Pierce, PhD.

Section 1: Process, Compressed Gas Hazard

Section 2: The purpose of the Compressed Gas Safety module is to be used as a guideline to ensure the laboratory worker remains cognizant of the compressed gases stored and used in the labs and their associated hazards. We will only be using carbon dioxide (found in the cell cuture hood room) and liquid nitrogen cylinders (found in the refrigeration/freezer area) in this lab. Propane will be accessed through the lab propane lines on the bench tops.

Section 3: Compressed gas cylinders can present a variety of hazards due to their pressure and/or contents. Among these in this lab are:

Section 4: At a minimum, all lab personnel should be wearing a lab coat or lab apron, gloves, and safety glasses when there is active work being done in the lab. When working with liquid nitrogen, however, one must incorporate the use of blue cryo-gloves. These gloves protect the hands from getting damaged when working with liquid nitrogen because they are insulated and also waterproof.

Section 5: The engineering controls used to prevent and reduce the exposure to compressed gases are the hardware such as piping, fittings, and shut off valves to prevent leakage of the contents of the cylinders. Gauges also make us aware of the pressure within the compressed tanks. And lastly, carbon dioxide cylinders are belted down as to ensure they will not tip over.

Section 6: Cylinders of flammable gases (empty or full) are never stored near cylinders of oxygen or other oxidizers. A minimum separation of 20 feet or specially designed separation wall must be maintained. When practical, store cylinders a minimum of 20 feet from flammable liquids and away from sources of heat. The carbon dioxide cylinders will be located on the right side of the cell culture hood room beside of the 37C incubators. The liquid nitrogen cylinder is located near the cryofreezer on the oposite side of the lab in the refrigeration/freezer area. Propane will be accessed through the lab propane lines on the bench tops. Access shall be limited (room securely locked when unoccupied) to laboratory personnel only.

Section 7 & 8: Emergencies: in the event of a cylinder emergency such as a significant leak, evacuate the area, shut the door, and call 911. Otherwise contact the Occupational Health and Safety (859) 257-3827 regarding any questions.

Section 9: Always return compressed gas cylinders when finished. Vendors charge "demurrage fees" (rental) on compressed gas cylinders. These fees can often add up to exceed the purchase price of the gas if the cylinders sit for extended periods in storage. If cylinders cannot be returned to supplier, contact Hazardous Materials Management (859) 323-6280 for instructions. Clearly mark "empty" cylinders with tag or sign. Writing "MT" in chalk or on label is not acceptable. Separate "empty" and "full" cylinders to avoid confustion and do not store empty cylinders in the laboratory. Ask Marcia to order new full tanks of carbon dioxide or liquid nitrogen as needed.

Section 10: Materials Safety Data Sheets, MSDS, for all chemicals may be found on the following web address:

Section 11: Protocols

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