TJC Clarifies Requirements for Oxygen Cylinder Storage

PUBLISHED: Jun 10, 2019
Relevant to: Ambulatory Care, Critical Access Hospitals, Hospice, Hospitals, Long Term Care

The Joint Commission (TJC) recently issued a Frequently Asked Question specific to their Hospital, Critical Access Hospital, Ambulatory, Nursing Care Center and Hospice accreditation programs addressing the requirements for storing oxygen cylinders, specifically when tanks are full, empty or partially full. TJC Environment of Care Standard 02.05.09 requires that organizations inspect, test, and maintain medical gas and vacuum systems.

According to TJC, organizations, TJC requirements follow NFPA 99-2012, 11.6.5.2 for managing empty oxygen cylinders. Per TJC/NFPA:

  • “Cylinders defined as 'empty' by the organization shall be segregated from all other cylinders that are intended for patient care use.
  • Partials without an integral pressure gauge and those equipped with gauges with depleted volume content (as determined by the organization's policy) are to be stored with empty cylinders.”

The organization shall define what constitutes full and partially full cylinders not yet depleted and, unless organization's policy requires further segregation, these cylinders are permitted to be stored together

Empty cylinders shall always be identified by:

  • Individual tagging
  • Integral gauge (and defined by policy) indication
  • Group signage

Organizations are reminded that they must not exceed the total allowable amount of 300 cubic feet in a single smoke compartment.

Included with today’s notice is an example policy related to compressed gas and oxygen use.

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