Standard Operating Procedures

Compressed Gases

This chemical standard operating procedure (SOP) is for your safety. Read, understand, and follow this document. If this is a paper copy, you should check for the most recent version on the IsoLab website. This document was created from a template modeled after the University of Washington Environmental Health and Safety Laboratory Safety Manual Standard Operating Procedures Components.

Are inert compressed gases a particularly hazardous substance? NO

What is a particularly hazardous substance? The University of Washington Environmental Health and Safety defines it here.

The SDS for all IsoLab compressed gases can be found here. You should also have taken the EH&S compressed gas training.

1. Process Name Most of the processes in IsoLab use compressed gases. They are prevalent and abundant and lab personnel need to be aware of how to be safe around them.
2. Chemical Name IsoLab has inert compressed gas cylinders containing helium, nitrogen, argon, and carbon dioxide. The main health hazard of these compressed gases is asphyxiation due to venting or sudden release displacing breathing air. The other major health hazard is a catastrophic release resulting in projectiles.
3. Personal Protective Equipment Personal protective equipment are not needed when handling inert compressed gas cylinders.
4. Environmental / Ventilation Controls No environmental or ventilation controls are required for inert compressed gases.
5. Special Handling Procedures & Storage Requirements Compressed gas cylinders must be fastened securely at all times whether in use, transit, or storage. Cylinder safety caps must be in place whenever cylinders are not in use for an extended period of time or during transport. Proper valves and/or regulators for the specific gas must be used. Transport large cylinders only on an approved dolly or cart. IsoLab's two cylinder dollies are located in 302A near the door to 302C.
6. Spill and Accident Procedures IsoLab is unique in its rapid turnover of air when the building circulation is working properly. However, in the event of a catastrophic or sudden release, personnel should prop open lab doors and move to a more ventilated area until normal breathing air is restored. A sudden release is also quite likely to be very loud. If it is safe to stop the release, find ear protection in 302C.
7. Waste Disposal Empty inert compressed gas cylinders should be marked 'empty' by removing the lower portion of the paper tag and returned to Airgas.
8. Special Precautions for Animal Use (if applicable) N/A
Particularly hazardous substance involved? If NO, ignore 9-11
9. Approval Required


10. Decontamination N/A
11. Designated Area N/A


I have read and understood this Chemical SOP:

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