Forklift Trucks - Safe Handling of Propane (LPG) Fuel
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LPG stands for Liquid Petroleum Gas.
- Before handling the cylinder, make sure the valve is properly closed.
- Handle the cylinder gently. Inspect the cylinder for damage before each use, and after it is dropped, dented, or impacted.
- Always protect the valve from damage.
- Avoid skin contact with liquid propane as it may cause frostbite.
- Wear the appropriate protective gloves while connecting or disconnecting a cylinder to equipment.
- Exchange removable cylinders outdoors or in well-ventilated areas, away from sources of ignition.
- Close the cylinder valve before disconnecting the cylinder from forklifts.
- Make sure that only qualified persons repair cylinders and forklift fuel systems.
- For repairs, use only components that agencies such as the CSA Group (Canadian Standards Association) have approved.
Procedure for changing propane (LPG) cylinders:
- Park the forklift in a low-traffic and well-ventilated area. Put forklift controls
into the neutral position. Lower the forks to the ground and apply the
- Wear eye protection and gloves such as leather or insulated neoprene.
- With the forklift engine running, dismount the forklift and close the valve on
- Run the engine until it is out of fuel, and it stops. This step ensures that the fuel supply hose is empty.
- Turn the ignition key to the off position.
- Disconnect the fuel supply hose from the cylinder.
- Undo the latch or straps that secure the cylinder to the forklift.
- Remove the empty cylinder using both hands (empty cylinders can be
- Inspect the replacement cylinder for damage. Do not use damaged
cylinders. Tag them for repair and store them safely.
- Lift the replacement cylinder into position using a proper lifting technique. Adjust the cylinder until it is properly aligned with the positioning pin to ensure the pressure relief valve is orientated correctly.
- Secure the cylinder to the forklift.
- Connect the fuel supply hose to the cylinder. Do not use tools because the
valve is designed to be tightened by hand.
- Open the valve on the cylinder slowly and check for leaks. A one to two-second hissing sound is normal and any longer indicates a leak. If available, use a soap and water solution or a leak detector.
- Smell(for a rotten egg smell)
- Listen (for gas escaping or hissing)
- Look (for frost or bubbles if using a solution)
- If you detect a leak, close the valve and:
- Remove the hose, and check the valve and hose connections for dirt and debris.
- Reconnect the hose and check for leaks again. If the leak persists, try a fresh cylinder.
- Reconnect the hose and check for leaks again. If the leak persists, put the forklift out of service.
- Tag any defective cylinders, hoses, or components for repair by qualified persons.
- If no leaks are detected, slowly open the valve fully.
- Make sure the hose is not kinked, twisted, or unsafely sticking out from the forklift.
- Start the engine and resume operation.
- Do not use damaged cylinders. Tag them for repair or disposal.
- Do not operate forklifts that appear to have incomplete or improper repairs to the fuel system.
- Do not use metal tools when changing a cylinder.
- Do not use excessive force when opening or closing the valve.
- Do not let the cylinder get too hot or be exposed to excessive heat.
- Do not drag, drop, roll or slide the cylinder or allow it to bang against other objects.
- Do not use matches or a flame to check for leaks. Use soap or a leak detector.
- Do not mount more LPG cylinders on the forklift than the truck was designed to hold.
- Do not smoke when handling the cylinder or in the storage area.
- Store the cylinder in an upright position and in a well-ventilated area, away from ignition sources and excessive temperatures, where it can be secured and is protected from being struck.
- Protect cylinders from tipping over or falling. Use a chain or adequate support system. Consider securing each cylinder separately to prevent other cylinders from falling.
- Do not store cylinders or park the forklift close to heat sources, doorways, aisles, elevators, stairways, and exits.
- Fact sheet last revised: 2023-05-18