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Compressed Gas and Equipment

Hazards associated with compressed gases include oxygen displacement, fires, explosions, and toxic gas exposures, as well as the physical hazards associated with high pressure systems. Special storage, use, and handling precautions are necessary in order to control these hazards.

Compressed gas and equipment is addressed in specific standards for the general industry, shipyard employment, marine terminals, and the construction industry.

OSHA Standards

This section highlights OSHA standards, directives (instructions for compliance officers), and standard interpretations (official letters of interpretation of the standards) related to compressed gas and equipment.

Note: Twenty-five states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands have OSHA-approved State Plans and have adopted their own standards and enforcement policies. For the most part, these States adopt standards that are identical to Federal OSHA. However, some States have adopted different standards applicable to this topic or may have different enforcement policies.

General Industry (29 CFR 1910)

Shipyard Employment (29 CFR 1915)

Marine Terminals (29 CFR 1917)

  • 1917 Subpart G, Related terminal operations and equipment
    • 1917.152, Welding, cutting and heating (hot work) (see also 1917.2, definition of hazardous cargo, materials, substance or atmosphere)
    • 1917.154, Compressed air
    • 1917.155, Air receivers

Construction Industry (29 CFR 1926)


Compressed Air

Standard Interpretations

Gas Cylinders

Compressed Air

Hazard Recognition

The following references aid in recognizing the hazards associated with compressed gas and equipment.

Hazard Evaluation and Control

The following reference provides information regarding the evaluation and control of hazards associated with compressed gas and equipment.

  • Compressed Gases Self Inspection Checklist. US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Publication No. 2004-101, (2003, October). Applies to the more common precautions of handling, storage, and use of compressed gases in cylinders or portable tanks in school environments.

Additional Information

Related Safety and Health Topics Pages

Other Resources

  • Compressed Gas Safety: General Safety Guidelines [291 KB PDF, 12 pages]. Montana Department of Labor and Industry, Occupational Safety and Health Bureau. Provides information that may be used as a guideline for the safe use of compressed gas.

  • Compressed Gas Safety Guide. Stony Brook University, Environmental Health and Safety (EHS), (2005, September). Provides information on compressed gas safety, such as requirements, training, reporting, applicable regulations, and compressed gas association pamphlets.

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