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How to Store Propane Forklift Cylinders

Updated on August 11, 2013

Worthington 15kg Propane Cylinder

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Correct Propane Cylinder Storage Requirements

As part of your business’s commitment to health and safety policies in the workplace, the following is a reminder to businesses on the correct storage practies for Propane forklift cylinders.

Both full and empty cylinders must always be stored in an upright position.

All forklift cylinders are fitted with a pressure relief value, the pressure relief valve’s job is to ensure the cylinder does not become over pressurised.

The relief value must always sit in the vapour space of the cylinder, this ensures that in the event of a leak or release only the vapour will vent from the cylinder into the atmosphere and not liquid.

Correct & Incorrect Propane Cylinder Storage Methods

Correct Cylinder Storage
Correct Cylinder Storage

The two diagrams above depict both the correct and incorrect positions for cylinder storage.

The first diagram shows the correct method for storing forklift cylinder in an upright position, leaving the pressure relief valve in the vapour space of the cylinder.

The second diagram shows forklift cylinder stored upside down with the relief valve beneath the liquid propane level of the cylinder, although forklift cylinders can be stored in a horizontal position, the cylinders need to be stored with the pressure relief valve above the liquid level of the cylinder.

Traditionally empty cylinders were stored upside down as a sign the cylinder was empty. All cylinders regardless whether they are empty or full must be stored in the upright position.

Storage Area

Forklift cylinders must be stored in a well-ventilated area outside, away from flammable and combustible materials including any any igintion points.(i.e. power points) Cylinders must also be stored away from drains and any areas of high traffic, including forklifts and other vehicles.

Cylinders should be stored on a flat concrete or other solid surface. Ideally cylinders should be stored in a cage, and away from any grassy surface or any area where mud, dirt and other substances can soil or damage the cylinders.

LPG is a highly flammable gas that will burn you and may even explode when ignited. Anyone using LPG must know how to handle it safely and correctly and where to seek advice if needed, and what to do in an emergency.

If you use Propane you must:

Have a fire evacuation plan, fire extinguishers and a first aid kit on hand. Make sure there are Hazchem signs showing LPG is present and cylinders are labelled. Make sure that you and your staff are trained to use LPG safely. Make sure that you have a safety data sheet for LPG from your supplier. Make sure that you or a member of your staff are specifically responsible for the safe management of the LPG you have.

Propane Leaks

Even a small gas leak has the potential to cause a serious fire.

What to do If you smell gas.

  • If it can be done safely, turn off the gas supply at the cylinder and turn off all gas appliances.
  • Remove or extinguish potential ignition sources such as naked flames, cigarettes and electrical devices.
  • Do not switch any electrical appliances on or off – this could cause a spark and ignite the gas.
  • Open doors and windows to increase ventilation.
  • If you cannot stop the leak, dial your emergency services number and ask for the Fire Service. Do not reuse any defective cylinder or appliance until it has been tested and declared safe.

LPG is a clean, convenient energy source, whether it’s for hot water, cooking, heating your home or using it to run your forklift fleet. I hope the information provided above is of benefit to your ongoing occupational health and safety practices in the workplace.

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    • greeneryday profile image

      greeneryday 5 years ago from Some tropical country

      Nice hub, LPG leak is a serious problem, so we have to follow the proper procedure on how to store them... thanks