Stores - Procedure to return cylinders and banks

1. Reminder

1.1 General

"All cylinders are pressure-tested before use. Pressure tests must be repeated every 10 years by a body approved by a Member State. On this occasion the general condition of the cylinders (e.g. deterioration, corrosion, etc.) is also checked. Each cylinder is marked with its operating pressure, test pressure, volume, type of gas, date of the latest test, serial number, the stamp of the inspection body and the empty weight" (extract from Safety Instruction No. 42).

Example of one type of marking:


CERN has a contract with 2 gas suppliers: Air Liquide and Carbagaz, who carry out the ten-year pressure test only on their own cylinders.

However, cylinders belonging to other companies and also, as is more frequently the case, to CERN, can also be found on the CERN site. Approved bodies could be called in to carry out the ten-year pressure test on them but this would be very costly. It works out much cheaper to dispose of them and buy new ones. Nevertheless, the Cryogenics Laboratory can be requested to perform tests on certain cylinders.


1.2 Transport and Handling

  • Personal equipment:

The personnel responsible for handling gas cylinders are provided with safety shoes and gloves.

  • Hand trucks and trolleys:

    • Cylinders must be transported using suitable hand trucks to which the cylinders can be secured (SCEM: 70.30.05B);

  • Cylinders must never be dragged or rolled along the floor;
  • Cylinders must never be dropped on the floor;
  • Cylinders must never be lifted by the cap or valve;
  • Before collecting a cylinder, make sure that there is no leak around the neck and that the valve is tightly closed;
  • Keep the cap on the cylinder while it is being transported and handled;
  • Never move a cylinder containing a toxic gas if the safety cap or the protective cover over the valve are missing.


  • General:

  • Avoid smoking and any other risk of sparks when transporting cylinders containing oxygen or flammable gases ;

  • Make sure that the valves are closed, even if the cylinders are empty ;
  • Never transport cylinders with their regulation equipment (regulator valves, torches, etc.) attached: always close the valves and remove the equipment before transport ;
  • Adopt the recommended lifting positions and postures (bend the knees, keep the back straight, etc.).


2. Disposal of gas cylinders

2.1 Cylinders with a bar code and cylinders with the "Air Liquide" or "Carbagaz" stamps


2.1.1. Definition

The bar code identifies cylinders known by CERN and that are covered by the contracts with Carbagaz and Air Liquide. The bar code contains various information:

  • The type of gas
  • The owner of the cylinder
  • The BAAN number (Order number)


Example of a gas cylinder with a bar code :

Example of a cylinder with the Air Liquide stamp and no bar code :



2.1.2. How to dispose of them ?

  • Take the cylinders to the nearest gas point.
  • Send a request "Request to return a gas cylinder" through the Service Portal, indicating:
    • The BAAN number of the cylinder (written on the bar code label)
    • The owner of the cylinder (written on the bar code label)
    • The number of the gas point.

2.2 « CERN »gas cylinders

2.2.1 Definition

"CERN" cylinders are those on which the word CERN is engraved and which have no bar code.



Certain CERN cylinders have been checked by an approved body and will therefore have an up-to-date pressure test label.


2.2.2 How to dispose of them ?

Tightening of regulations regarding the handling of empty gas cylinders and cylinders containing gas means that an EDH request has to be made for disposal and another for internal transport.

The internal transport request will be performed only after the disposal request has been approved.

For any question regarding your gas bottle , please contact HSE Jonathan Gulley.


2.3 Other types of cylinders

2.3.1 Definition

This section concerns cylinders without a bar code, without a name or stamp or of a make not covered in one of the previous sections.

Examples :

Make: prodair Make: Multigas Make: Prochem Make: Prochem


2.3.2 How to dispose of them ?

Same procedure as for the "CERN" cylinders (see paragraph 2.2).

All gas cylinders without a valid 10-year pressure test must be taken to the nearest gas point, whether full or empty, with their protective cap secured.