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Compressed Gas Association, Inc. pamphlet CGA P-1-1991 has been adopted by OSHA by reference. It states in regards to storage areas for compressed gas cylinders that, when storing inside that “consideration shall include a dry, well-ventilated area, preferably of fire-resistive construction.”
For outdoor storage, CGA P-1-1991 states “Cylinders may be stored in the open, but to prevent bottom corrosion prolong exposure to a damp environment should be avoided.” And later “It is preferable to store cylinders on paved surfaces, such as asphalt or concrete which has been graded to prevent accumulation of water.”
The Compressed Gas Association acknowledges that rust is an issue. However, following the CGA storage guidelines, that is, storage on well-drained, paved surfaces, should result in safe practices.
And as compressed gas cylinders must be inspected and certified for continued service on a regular schedule by the gas service, any surface corrosion would be found at that time, and if severe enough, would require the cylinder to be removed from service.