Gas Risks

Various risks may result from the presence, handling and/or use of gases, including gas cylinders and bundles.

Gas risks

Risks may include, for example, asphyxiation (confined spaces risk), cryogenic (low temperature risk), oxygen enrichment and flammability risks, etc.. Advice on dealing with these and other risks may be found on the BCGA or HSE websites, much of which may be downloaded for information and use.

BOC’s Safety Data Sheet information should be read and understood for all relevant substances. You should share relevant aspects of this safety data with relevant people (e.g. drivers, operators, contractors, etc) including those, such as managers, who assess and manage your workplace risks.’

Medical Gas – Fire Procedure

In the event of a fire, the safety of all patients and personnel must be the priority.

It is advisable for all healthcare establishments to have an operational policy which details the roles and responsibilities in the event of an emergency such as a fire. The responsible personnel need to be trained in the actions they need to take in the event of this type of emergency.

For guidance on how to prepare a suitable operational policy please consult BOC Healthcare’s Risk Management Services.

Typical initial actions in the event of a fire are:

  • Operate the fire drill
  • Notify the fire services, warning them of the presence of medical gas cylinders (and / or pipeline gases)
  • Shut off pipeline isolation valves supplying the affected areas; notify other relevant departments that may be affected either by the fire or the loss of gas supply
  • Evacuate the immediate area

Once the immediate actions have been taken – and provided it is safe to do so, you may:

  • Close the cylinder valve to stop the flow of product, and move the cylinders away from the source of heat.
Unless you are trained in the use of either fire extinguishers or fire hoses, do not attempt to fight a fire in which cylinders are directly involved. If you have had appropriate training, endeavour to keep the cylinder cool by using a fire hose from a protected position. Do not take any undue risks.

After the fire

Cylinders which have been involved in a fire should be identified and segregated from all other cylinders. Under no circumstances should their contents be used. Immediately inform BOC Healthcare that the cylinders have been involved in a fire.

The cylinder(s) will be collected as quickly as possible and returned for examination.