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Compressed gas (even air) directed to the head or skin may cause serious injury, and can be fatal. Compressed air must never be used to clean-down clothing or remove swarf from benches or inaccessible areas.

Managing hazards

Always fit valve caps when transporting compressed gas cylinders, and take care when handling them to avoid dropping them, and also avoid foot or back injury.

If a leak is noted which cannot be stopped by simply tightening a valve or nut, remove it to a well ventilated outdoor location, and label the cylinder as unserviceable. Detergent in water should be used to locate a leak (never a flame).

The formation of ice on the exterior of a cylinder indicates that the gas release rate is excessive and should be reduced.

Emergency procedures

On release of a toxic, flammable or asphyxiant compressed gas, evacuate immediately and raise the alarm. Warn those who may be threatened in adjacent areas or downwind.

Do not switch off electrical apparatus as the resultant spark may ignite flammable gases.

For toxic gas release, use 'escape' breathing apparatus where available.

Obtain medical assistance for injuries arising from contact with compressed gas/air.

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