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Precautions you can take and laws you must comply with when working with gas

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The word 'gas' can be used to describe the physical state of many substances however, the following guidance focuses specifically on the safe use of gas as a fuel in the workplace. It is commonly used as a fuel for heating, cooking, welding, cutting and for processing products. Anywhere a flame is needed.

Use the links below to find information on common gas hazards and how to assess these, precautions you can take and your legal obligations.

  1. Common gas related hazards
  2. Gas safety precautions
  3. Gas safety legislation

2. Gas safety precautions

If your risk assessment has found hazards linked to the use of gas, then you need to put precautions in place.

There are a number of things you can do, such as the following.

  • Make sure your staff are trained to use equipment.
  • Store gas cylinders as per regulations.
  • Install and regularly test carbon monoxide (CO) detectors and alarm systems.
  • Perform regular inspections.
  • Schedule and record formal maintenance that is carried out by a competent person.
  • Make sure pipes, storage areas and vehicles carrying gas are suitably marked and signed.

You should also

  • keep areas around external flue outlets clear including from leaf and paper debris
  • make sure there is suitable airflow around gas appliances.

You can contact the Gas Safety Advice Line free on 0800 300 363 for more advice.

Controls for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)

When using LPG extra care must be taken. This is because storage facilities for LPG must meet certain safety standards. You should store as few gas cylinders as possible.

You should also make sure there is suitable ventilation where the gas is being stored and used, particularly at low level. This is because LPG is heavier than air so there is a risk of asphyxiation.

The LPG Association guidance states that the storage area must

  • be secured against attack from vandals
  • have warning signs in place to show the hazards
  • allow for cylinders to be stored in an upright position, unless labelling states otherwise
  • be easily accessible
  • be kept free of flammable sources and combustible materials, including vegetation
  • be located away from open drains.
Visit the UKLPG site for further advice and information on using LPG

Use a registered engineer

It is important to have all gas equipment supplied, fitted and maintained by a Gas Safe registered engineer.

When selecting an engineer you should make sure that they are qualified to work on the correct equipment. You can do this by checking the back of their registration card.

The Gas Safe Register website also lists registered installers across the UK and their areas of expertise.

Visit the Gas Safe Register site to find a registered engineer near you