handling and use, and marking and return of the empty cylinder to the company from which it was purchased. Empty compressed gas cylinders purchased for the laboratory should be returned to the company and should never be refilled by laboratory personnel.

Discourage the practice of purchasing unreturnable lecture bottles to avoid the accumulation of partially filled cylinders and cylinder disposal problems. Encourage trained laboratory personnel to lease the cylinders and, in essence, only purchase the contents.

7.D.1.1 Identification of Contents

Clearly label compressed gas cylinders so they are easily, quickly, and completely identified by trained laboratory personnel. Stencil or stamp identification on the cylinder itself, or provide a durable label that cannot be removed from the cylinder. Do not accept any compressed gas cylinder for use that does not identify its contents legibly by name. Color coding is not a reliable means of identification; cylinder colors vary from supplier to supplier, and labels on caps have no value because many caps are interchangeable. Care in the maintenance of cylinder labels is important because unidentified compressed gas cylinders may pose a high risk and present very high disposal costs. Good practice provides compressed gas cylinders with tags on which the names of users and dates of use can be entered. If the labeling on a cylinder becomes unclear or an attached tag is defaced and the contents cannot be identified, mark the cylinder as contents unknown and contact the manufacturer regarding appropriate procedures.

Clearly label all gas lines leading from a compressed gas supply to identify the gas, the laboratory served, and relevant emergency telephone numbers. The labels, in addition to being dated, should be color-coded to distinguish hazardous gases, such as flammable, toxic, or corrosive substances that are coded with a yellow background and black letters, and inert gases that are coded with a green background and black letters. Post signs conspicuously in areas in which flammable compressed gases are stored, identifying the substances and appropriate precautions, for example,


7.D.2 Equipment Used with Compressed Gases

7.D.2.1 Records, Inspection, and Testing

Carry out high-pressure operations only with equipment specifically designed and built for this use and only by those personnel trained especially to use this equipment. Never carry out reactions in, or apply heat to, an apparatus that is a closed system unless it has been designed and tested to withstand pressure. To ensure that the equipment has been properly designed, each pressure vessel should have stamped on it, or on an attached plate, its maximum allowable working pressure, the allowable temperature at this pressure, and the material of construction. Similarly, the relief pressure—the pressure at which the safety system (e.g., rupture disk or safety vent) will be triggered—and setting data should be stamped on a metal tag attached to installed pressure-relief devices, and the setting mechanisms should be sealed. Relief devices used on pressure regulators do not require these seals or numbers.

Test or inspect all pressure equipment periodically. The frequency of tests and inspections varies, depending on the type of equipment, how often it is used, and the nature of its usage. Corrosive or otherwise hazardous service requires more frequent tests and inspections. Stamp inspection data on or attach it to the equipment. Testing the entire assembled apparatus with soap solution and air or nitrogen pressure to the maximum operating pressure of the weakest section of the assembled apparatus usually detects leaks at threaded joints, packings, and valves. Alternatively, the apparatus may be pressurized and monitored for pressure drop over time.

Before any pressure equipment is altered, repaired, stored, or shipped, vent it and completely remove all toxic, flammable, or other hazardous material so it can be handled safely. Especially hazardous materials may require special cleaning techniques, which should be solicited from the distributor.

(See section 7.E.1 for further information.)

7.D.2.2 Assembly and Operation

During the assembly of pressure equipment and piping, use only appropriate components, and take care to avoid strains and concealed fractures from the use of improper tools or excessive force. Do not support any significant weight with the tubing in place in a pressure apparatus.

Do not force threads that do not fit smoothly. (See Vignette 7.4.) Do not overtighten fittings. Thread connections must match; tapered pipe threads cannot be joined with parallel machine threads. Use Teflon tape or a suitable thread lubricant on appropriate fittings, (e.g., Teflon tape on pipe fittings only) when assembling the apparatus (see section 7.D.2.2.8). However, never use oil or lubricant on any equipment that will be used with oxygen. Reject parts having damaged or partly stripped threads (see also section 7.D.2.2.3).

In assembling copper-tubing installations, avoid sharp bends and allow considerable flexibility. Copper tubing hardens and cracks on repeated bending. Many

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