Updated: Dec 2, 2020
As dangerous goods consultants we see a lot of common mistakes when storing liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in exchange cages. In this article we look at the security requirements for LPG exchange cages.
This article is general information only. Want expert advice, specific to your needs: get in touch.
Act 1: Scene 1 - A Non-Compliant Exchange This scene takes place at a petrol station. The attendant is serving a customer who has just paid for a new barbecue gas bottle. Attendant: "Go grab your gas bottle, the cage is around the back." Customer: "Can I get the key?" Attendant: "Nah, don't worry, it's not locked..." --- End Scene ---
Dangerous Goods, especially highly flammable dangerous goods like LPG can pose a high level of risk to members of the public. If dangerous goods at your site are readily accessible to the public without trained supervision they could easily hurt themselves and those around them. You don't want to put yourself or other site personnel at risk if someone tampers with the safety valves or releases a cloud of LPG in your store.
In WA you also have a legal requirement to prevent this from happening under the Dangerous Goods Safety (Storage and Handling of Non-Explosives) Regulations 2007 (WA DGS Regs). Regulation 66 requires:
"An operator of a dangerous goods site must, so far as is practicable, prevent — (a) access to the site by unauthorised persons; and (b) the occurrence at the site of unauthorised activities."
This means the operator has to do their best to keep their dangerous goods out of untrained hands.
To keep your LPG cylinders secure, you should ensure they are kept in a cage which is:
Stable - position your cage so that it is unlikely to fall over. Ensure that all cage legs are touching the ground. Avoid using objects to prop up an individual leg as they can be removed easily.
Strong - ensure your cage is difficult to break into while locked. Most cages are welded steel with mesh to prevent access to the cylinders. Check that your cage isn't damaged or weakened in some way which compromises its strength.
Locked - lock your cage when it is not in use. Typically cages will have a fixture on the doors for a padlock.
Monitored - check on your cage regularly to ensure it is not being accessed without permission. The cage should be somewhere where it can be easily monitored either by cameras or direct line of site.
Most LPG Exchange Cage suppliers will be able to help you meet these requirements, but it is the site operator's responsibility to ensure they are upheld. To maintain the security of your LPG Exchange Cage, you should have robust site procedures which include the following as a minimum:
Where the key to the cage is kept?
Who is allowed to access the cage?
Daily checks of the cage for any damage
Regular checks to ensure the cage is locked and there are no cylinders outside of the cage (including "empties")
Procedures are good, written procedures are better. Written procedures which can be easily trained, followed and meet industry best practice are the best. Our dangerous goods consultants can work with you to develop site specific procedures to keep your team safe. If that sounds like something you need, please get in touch!
Did you have any of these issues on your site? Hopefully this article helped you provide adequate security for your LPG cylinders. If you found that useful, check out some of the other common mistakes with LPG Exchange Cages:
If you have other dangerous goods storage onsite, we also have articles on some other dangerous goods storage types.
Although these are some common mistakes, remember there are a whole heap of other compliance and safety issues associated with LPG exchange cages. Make sure you check your DG risk assessment and get in touch if you have any questions!
This article was prepared as general guidance only and based on information current at time of publication. The use of this information is at the reader's own risk, Cadre Engineering accepts no liability for any outcomes of following this guidance. For expert advice, specific to your needs, please get in touch.