Storage of Oxygen Cylinders Used for Welding
by Brad Keyes, CHSP, on Dec 18, 2020 12:00:03 AM
Q: Are there any restrictions to storing medical gas cylinders in the same room as industrial gas cylinders? Specifically, can we store oxygen cylinders used for cutting torch in the same room as medical oxygen cylinders?
A: NFPA 99-2012, section 3.3.107 describes medical gases as those used on patients. Chapter 5 of NFPA 99-2012 discusses the requirements for storage of medical gases, and section 126.96.36.199.3 says only gas cylinders, reusable shipping containers, and their accessories shall be permitted to be stored in rooms containing central supply systems or gas cylinders.
So, one could draw the conclusion that section 188.8.131.52.3 is specifically referring to medical gases since it is located in Chapter 5, and section 184.108.40.206.3 says only (medical) gas cylinders and their accessories are permitted to be stored in rooms containing (medical) gas cylinders. By that conclusion, oxygen cylinders used for welding or cutting are not permitted because they are not medical gases.
On another note, section 220.127.116.11.1.6 says indoor locations for oxygen, nitrous oxide, and mixtures of these gases shall not communicate with (among other items) locations storing flammables. While oxygen is not a flammable gas, propane and acetylene are, and this section would prevent flammable gases from being stored with oxygen or nitrous oxide.
I have not seen any accreditation organization cite a hospital for having cylinders of welding oxygen gases stored with cylinder of medical oxygen gases, but I can see where it would not be permitted in NFPA 99-2012.