BCGA Guidance Note 2 is aimed primarily at users of gas cylinders in the workplace. Sites operated under the direct control of the gases supplier or manufacturer of gases will be governed by guidelines drawn up on the basis of a site risk assessment.
BCGA Guidance Note 2 given is based on extensive knowledge and experience of cylinder storage practices, which have been proved to be safe in practical situations for over half a century. Substantial quantities of industrial gases are produced, distributed and stored each year and, although many organisations have developed their own Codes of Practice and Engineering Standards, it is considered that this Guidance Note will be of benefit to users generally.
A risk assessment is required at all times under The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (5) and may also be required under The Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations (DSEAR) (6). Guidance on the preparation of Risk Assessments under DSEAR is contained in BCGA Guidance Note (GN) 13 (32). DSEAR is a set of regulations concerned with protection against risks from fire, explosion and similar events arising from dangerous substances used or present in the workplace. These Regulations apply to employers and the self-employed and are supported by a number of Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Approved Codes of Practice (ACOPs) (References 10 to 14). See also HSE INDG370 (16), Fire & Explosion. How safe is your workplace?
The aim of BCGA Guidance Note 2 is to provide information on the hazards of gas cylinder storage, and on what is good practice for controlling the risks to assist the user of gases to conduct a risk assessment. Every storage situation must be considered on its merits and special circumstances may necessitate variations on the recommended requirements. This guidance is intended as an aid to designing new storage areas; it may also be used for reviewing the safety and suitability of existing gas cylinder storage facilities. It does not preclude the use of alternative designs, materials and methods, when they provide equivalent standards of safety.
BCGA Guidance Note 2 has been written in consultation with the HSE and takes full account of its publication HS(G)71 (15), Chemical warehousing. The storage of packaged dangerous substances. Where gas cylinders are stored in conjunction with other packaged dangerous substances reference should be made to HS(G)71 (15).