Gases

Gases

General Information

Gases, dependent on their composition, present a range of hazards.  Gas supply systems such as high pressure cylinders or reticulated systems also present hazards.

Workers must be aware of the relevant hazards and associated control measures and must not operate gas systems without appropriate training.

Gas types and hazards

Gas typeDangerous Goods ClassAustralian Standards DefinitionHazard Statement Precautionary Statement
Flammable Gas

Division 2.1

A gas which will burn in air at a pressure of 101.3 kPa.

E.g. Acetylene, Butane, Ethylene, Hydrogen, Methylamine, Propane, Silane, Germane, Carbon monoxide, Vinyl chloride.

Extremely Flammable Gas.

Contains gas under pressure; may explode if heated.

Store in a well-ventilated place.

Non-flammable non-toxic

Division 2.2

A gas which is non-flammable, non-toxic, non-oxidising and is resistant to chemical action under normally encountered conditions.

E.g. Nitrogen, Carbon Dioxide, Helium, Argon.
Cryogens.

Asphyxiant in high concentrations.

Contains gas under pressure; may explode if heated.

Store in a well-ventilated place.

Oxidising Gas

Division 2.2/2.5

A gas which gives up oxygen readily, removes hydrogen from a compound or readily accepts electrons.

E.g. Oxygen, nitrous oxide

May cause or intensify fire; oxidizer.

Contains gas under pressure; may explode if heated.

Store in a well-ventilated place.

They can react violently with organic substances, finely divided metals and easily oxidisable substances.

Do not use oil, lubricants and sealants in connections as many are not compatible.

Never use oxygen as a substitute for compressed air.

Toxic Gas

Division 2.3

A gas that is known to be:

  • Toxic or corrosive for humans so as to pose a hazard to health;
  • Presumed to be toxic or corrosive for humans because it has an LC50 value equal to or less than 5000 ppm.

E.g. Carbon monoxide, Nitric oxide, Chlorine, Arsine, Germane, Formaldehyde.

Contains gas under pressure; may explode if heated.

Toxic gases cause adverse health effects with exposure through inhalation, eye or skin contact.

Store in a well-ventilated place.

Store locked up.

Some toxic gases may have more than one hazard e.g. flammable or corrosive.

Ensure that workplace exposure limits cannot be exceeded.

Corrosive Gas

Division 2.3

A gas that is known to be:

  • Toxic or corrosive for humans so as to pose a hazard to health;

Presumed to be toxic or corrosive for humans because it has an LC50 value equal to or less than 5000 ppm

Contains gas under pressure; may explode if heated

Causes severe burns and eye damage

Toxic if inhaled

Corrosive to respiratory tract

Store in a well-ventilated place

Store locked up

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