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Ontario Underwater Council

Mission: to promote the sport of scuba diving in Ontario through safety, advocacy,
cultural & environmental awareness
, self-governance.....and fun!

Transportation of Dangerous Goods


Please note that the transport of compressed air and its means of containment (i.e. scuba cylinder) are considered "Dangerous Goods" and as such is regulated under the Province of Ontario's Ministry of Transportation's "Transport of Dangerous Goods Act".

Specifically, the Act classifies compressed air as "Class 2.2 Gases" which are "Non-flammable and Non-Toxic Gases, which consist of gases that are transported at an absolute pressure greater than or equal to 280 kPa at 20º C, or as refrigerated liquids, and that are not included in Class 2.1, Flammable Gases, or Class 2.3, Toxic Gases".

So what does all this mean to the average diver?

Well the average diver shouldn't be affected much at all due primarily to the numerous personal exemptions that are defined in the act. But if you are planning on transporting say, compressed air in tanks that individually weigh more than 30kg, or if your total load of compressed air & tanks exceeds 500kg, and then provisions of the act may apply to you.

For a list of the requirements of the Act, and the related personal exemptions, please visit the OUC website at: http://www.underwatercouncil.com/ and download the "Dangerous Goods Transportation Information Sheet", or if you need more detailed information please visit the Ontario Ministry of Transportation website at: http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/ and look under the "Transport of Dangerous Goods" section.

Regardless whether these regulations or their related exemptions apply to you or not, the OUC recommends that you take the following additional common-sense precautions when transporting compressed air in scuba cylinders:

1) Always secure scuba cylinders from excessive movement (when being transported or not!). Scuba cylinders of all types (whether they are full or empty) are heavy and can cause property damage or personal injury if they shift position or fall due to a sudden maneuver, stop, or accident.

2) Protect full scuba cylinders from temperature extremes (especially heat) to prevent failure of the tank, the valve, or the burst disc due to increased air pressure that increased temperature creates (remember Charles' Law from your basic course?).

3) The weakest point of any scuba cylinder is the cylinder valve. Always protect the cylinder valve from impact or damage and whenever possible, stow your scuba cylinders in such a way that the valves face away from the vehicle occupants.

4) Do not exceed the maximum load rating of the vehicle that you are using to transport your scuba cylinders.

5) Make sure your scuba cylinders are visually inspected at least once a year and hydrostatically tested at least once every five years.

Get a more detailed explanation by clicking HERE.

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