Even a small propane tank can cause a major disaster if improperly stored, secured, maintained or used. It's not common, but it has happened. The safety experts at Safety Management Group in Indianapolis have prepared a post that identifies three hazards associated with all gas cylinders, and outlines five basic safety practices to help protect workers and others from these hazards. Here's a short version of the full list:
Store cylinders properly. OSHA rules provide different guidance for storage on construction sites and industrial settings.
Keep cylinders secured. Use straps, guards or chains and never remove the cap from a cylinder until it has been secured.
Inspect cylinders before moving or using them.
Open them carefully. Opening a valve too quickly can cause high-pressure gas to damage the regulator and valve seats.
Follow procedures for empty cylinders. Always leave some residual pressure in the cylinder, rather than emptying it all the way.