Health and Safety

Compressed Gases

Compressed gases are used for a wide variety of purposes in the university, predominantly for teaching and research purposes.

Gases pose a variety of hazards, for example:

  • Explosion of the cylinder due to mechanical damage, weakness or over-pressurisation.
  • Exposure to released gas or fluid, which may have harmful properties (asphyxiant, toxic, corrosive). Oxygen is particularly dangerous as it can promote fires and explosion and sustains combustion.
  • Fire due to escape of flammable gas/fluid and over-pressurisation in the event of fire.
  • Impact from falling cylinders and manual handling injuries.

To guide schools and departments in the safe management, use and storage of gases, reference should be made to the following policy:

University Gas and Cryogens Policy

Hazardous environments caused by release or leak of gas or cryogenic liquid into a room or space.

If needing to calculate whether a room or space will gas detection becuase of oxygen depletion, toxic enrichment or flammable atmosphere, please see here for online calculators and how to apply them.

Gas Concentration Calculators (due for update May 2024)


UK Guidance - BCGA

The main recognised body that issues national guidance and is referred to by the HSE, is the British Compressed Gas Association (BCGA). See the above policy for a list of BCGA guidance that is relevant in the university.


Health and Safety Department

Pharmacy Building (Building 63)
University Park
University of Nottingham
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

Telephone: Telephone: +44 (0)115 9513401
Email: h&