How to Transport Oxygen Cylinders

Written by stacey price
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How to Transport Oxygen Cylinders
Oxygen cylinders should be handled and transported safely. (oxygen cylinder image by JASON WINTER from

People who do not get enough air naturally have to use supplemental oxygen to help their breathing and improve their quality of life. Oxygen gas that's stored in cylinders is either compressed oxygen gas or liquid oxygen. Follow the government guidelines for transporting these cylinders to be safe.

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  1. 1

    Read the manufacturer's instructions located on the label of the cylinder. It contains detailed instructions and precautions that must be taken when handling the oxygen cylinders.

  2. 2

    Wash your hands of any oil or grease. You should not handle oxygen cylinders with slippery hands.

  3. 3

    Check each cylinder to make sure it is free of leaks and cracks before you load it onto your vehicle. Inspect the area around the valve and the pressure relief device. If the cylinder contains any dents, is gouged or pitted, then you should not handle it.

  4. 4

    Place a protective valve cap on each cylinder. Secure and store cylinders in a portable cylinder rack or cart designed to transport cylinders. These carts have locking mechanisms that safely keep cylinders in place in an upright position. The cylinders should not block any aisles or exits. Most importantly, store away from sources of heat and potential sparks.

  5. 5

    Sit the cylinder tanks in an upright position in crates or boxes if you're transporting oxygen tanks in the cargo compartment of a vehicle. These gas cylinders must be also be free from movement.

  6. 6

    Remove all cylinder from your vehicle immediately once you reach your destination.

Tips and warnings

  • Contact PHMSA's Hazardous Material Information Center for more information at 800-467-4922.
  • Oxygen cylinders transported on passenger trains can not exceed 15.4 Kilogram per cylinder.
  • No smoking or open flames are permitted when medical oxygen is present.

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