Do you operate a warehouse forklift that runs on propane? Are you using propane-powered equipment to drill oil hotspots while stationed on a rig? If so and you want to maintain compliance with Occupational Safety Health Administration storage and handling regulations, then it’s important to know about the right storage solutions to simplify handling and make propane use safer.

Below are six gas cylinder storage solutions examined in this article:

Flammable Safety Storage Cabinets

Gas Cylinder Hand Trucks

Gas Cylinder Storage Racks

Propane Tank Security Racks

Ventilation Gas Cylinder Cages

Horizontal and Vertical Gas Cylinder Storage Cabinets

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Flammable safety storage cabinets

flammable safety storage cabinetsFlammable safety storage cabinets are an optimal solution if you need flexible storage that can safely contain hazardous chemicals to reduce fire risks. Should you require more or less space to keep propane cans organized, simply adjust the shelves. It ensures footprint efficiency and allows clearance space to prevent damage while promoting proper separation.

Along with keeping combustible materials contained, organized, and segregated, the systems identify job site areas with more potential to have hazardous chemicals on the premises. All have an easy-to-recognize yellow powder-coat finish with signage on the front as a warning. It tells you never to enter the area with an open flame, which helps to reduce fire risk and ensure safety.

Depending on your chosen configuration, available models have either manual or self-closing doors included in the design. When comparing the two options, self-closing doors remain the most popular among experts. Here’s why:

  • Self-closing doors provide “foolproof” fire protection through fusible links, which melt once the temperature reaches 165-degrees Fahrenheit. This causes the doors to slam shut and keeps the fire from reaching the cabinets stored contents.
  • If someone leaves the alternative manual close doors open, no one can reach the area during a fire. The doors stay open, exposing the contents to intense heat and creating a dangerous environment. The flammable safety storage cabinets no longer have any valuable use, either.

The durable solutions also have recessed lockable paddle latches and 3-point locking systems that supply improved security while regulating access to ensure safer hazardous material handling. The advantages of using recessed-style door locks extend beyond providing better peace of mind, though. Here are a few:

  • Moving forward with installation does not require you to risk premature breakage or ineffective operation.
  • It blends in better to provide seamless integration and pleasing aesthetics. 
  • Able to last throughout years of reliable service.

gas cylinder hand trucksThese flammable safety storage cabinets also give considerable thought to cleanliness and ventilation since they have a 2″ leakproof sump base to catch spills and bunged air vents built into the sides. Additionally, the electrical ground found on the bottom right side helps eliminate the electrostatic discharge. So, the combustible materials don’t risk exploding while stored and remain safe to use. To simplify space-saving relocation, some models even have legs with a forklift base to allow trucks more convenient access.


Gas cylinder hand trucks

Using gas cylinder hand trucks to relocate propane containers secured with safety chains can help eliminate manual handling, reduce the stress placed on your body, and save space. Available options may look and function the same, but differences in the design set them apart. For example, one allows you to specify the wheels used and pick from 10″ solid rubber or pneumatic casters. In addition to giving you some design flexibility, these have a nose plate and foot kick that provide leverage to ease lifting heavy propane containers into a secure position during storage and transit. Other models use 8″ solid cushion rubber and swivel casters to give you safe, space-saving storage designed to simplify the transport process.

gas cylinder storage racksTo help you find the right solution that can address your mobility concerns, here are the advantages of using systems with the different wheel styles:

  • Solid rubber wheels are maintenance-free and won’t cease to operate if damaged by punctures, but pneumatic casters are subject to operational failure if debris and punctures are an issue. Rubber wheels also deliver the best load and employee protection, but do not wear as well and need more frequent replacement. Pneumatic casters provide better shock absorption to ensure a smoother ride. They are also lighter than rubber and have a longer lifespan. 
  • Combination solid cushion rubber and swivel casters can absorb shocks to ensure a softer ride and allow flexible rotation up to 360 degrees to accommodate changes in any direction.


Gas cylinder storage racks

With a tubular steel framework and safety chain, these durable OSHA compliant single gas cylinder storage racks fit most standard propane tanks in a secure, upright position. Configurations include lag holes to ensure proper and safe anchoring to the floor. Units ship assembled to allow immediate use and have a powder-coated gray finish that adds clean, pleasing aesthetics to harsh environments. Models’ safety chain spans from one end to the other, helping restrict access and deter improper handling to eliminate injuries.


Propane tank security racks

propane tank security racksFor more controlled access, alternative forkliftable propane tank security racks allow door integration to create a more secure storage environment that meets OSHA 1910 standards. Many experts agree that storing gas cylinders on their side isn’t common practice. However, it’s acceptable during transport in a short duration. While you should always keep bottles separate, configurations have the space to accommodate eight to 12 propane tanks in the same space-efficient footprint.

These forkliftable propane tank security racks come with high-visibility signage to help identify the area as a danger zone and reduce fire risks. Models also have a powder-coated safety yellow finish that you can easily recognize and avoid to remain injury-free if an unexpected explosion occurs. Configurations’ legs feature a 1/2″ hole to ensure secure bolting to the floor as well but do not include anchors.


Ventilation gas cylinder cages

ventilation gas cylinder cagesIf your priority is airflow, then ventilation gas cylinder cages could provide the optimal storage solution. With an affordable expanded metal mesh design and sloped roof, available options more than fit the criteria to meet this need while remaining OSHA and NFPA compliant. Depending on the model you choose to store gas cylinders, configurations can accommodate:

  • Anywhere from five to 15 tanks measuring up 68″ tall.
  • Between two and three smaller gas tanks measuring up to 33″ tall.
  • As little as 10 but no more than 30 containers measuring up to 68″ tall.

The available styles also give considerable thought to security since they include a padlock to help regulate access. Stored containers remain visible and organized in a safe, upright position that allows proper separation without wasting space.


Horizontal and vertical gas cylinder storage cabinets

horizontal vertical gas cylinder storage cabinetsHorizontal and vertical gas cylinder storage cabinets combine security, ventilation, and visibility while remaining OSHA and NFPA compliant to simplify hazard material handling and ensure your safety. You have some design flexibility since configurations can accommodate manual or self-closing doors with a padlock hasp or magnet to protect contents from fire damage. With danger flammable material signs hanging on the door fronts, no one risks standing in harm’s way. Instead, personnel working nearby know to stay a safe distance away and avoid injury.

Horizontal and vertical gas cylinder storage cabinets feature cradles that keep stored propane tanks securely in place without creating congestion. So, you can maintain proper separation while consolidating the materials in the efficient footprint and maximize space use. The expanded metal models also address cleanliness and safe handling concerns by providing dust protection and improved visibility. Through this distinctive design, systems provide a more economical choice with the strength and flexibility to give you the most value for your money. 

Best practices for storing gas cylinders

Along with helping power warehouse forklifts, compressed gas cylinders are often used in welding applications and research labs. Although convenient to use, risks to your safety remain whenever handling and storing the high-pressure materials. This is in large part due to their explosive nature and why proper storage and handling procedures are vital in the workplace. To ensure you approach the process with care, here are some best practices to keep in mind:

  • Never place propane tanks in storage located under stairways or near exit routes that can lead employees away from buildings in an emergency. It can make pathways inaccessible and endanger lives. Instead, select an area with minimal potential to impact evacuations in a crisis.
  • Avoid ignition sources such as electrical outlets and keep smoking areas far from storage containing flammable materials to prevent potential fires. You should also refrain from cutting, grinding, or welding whenever near flammable safety storage cabinets.
  • During nonuse, gas cylinders should remain outside in an open-air storage cage with overhead ceiling protection and a minimum of 20 feet from other buildings.
  • Industrial buildings designated as propane cylinder storage areas must not frequently be accessible to the public.
  • Occasionally inspect dates on cylinder collars and replace or exchange any outdated ones.
  • Be sure to check if the cylinders have leaked and look rusty or worn. Replace ones in poor condition, even if still within their requalification date.
  • Always wear proper face and eye protection whenever using propane cylinders.
  • Store cylinders in a secure, upright position during transport.
  • Cylinders need ventilation during transit.
  • Keep cylinders away from humid conditions.

Anyone that requires a more in-depth explanation should consult OSHA. Learn about more industrial material handling systems.

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