Topic: Fire Prevention; Training
Industry: Agriculture; Construction; General Industry; Healthcare; Manufacturing; Mining; Oil and Gas; Utilities
Duration: 10 MINUTES
– Recognizing and describing the characteristics of flammable liquids
– Acknowledging hazards inherent with work involving flammable liquids
– Understanding the safety requirements for the use of flammable liquids on the job
– Comprehending what to do if you experience health effects from exposure to, or accidents involving, flammable liquids
– Realizing the storage requirements for flammable liquids at a work facility
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) states around 1,400 fires annually happen because flammable or combustible liquids first were ignited. Aapproximately $76 million dollars of direct property damage happens each year.
Consider the typical vehicle explosion in movies. Environmental Health & Safety magazine explained that just “1 gallon of vaporized gasoline can explode with the same force as 20 sticks of dynamite.” This is an explanation for why hazards of often volatile flammable liquids, like gasoline, are mostly well known.
There are many uses for flammable and combustible liquids. They often are used in day-to-day operations at industrial and commercial sites as fuels, solvents, and cleaners. Although, flammable liquids are volatile and can start fires.
Flammable and combustible liquids’ flashpoints happen at the lowest temperature that the liquid gives off enough vapor, at or near its surface, to start burning. OSHA guidelines describes that liquids are flammable when they have a flashpoint below 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Some examples include gasoline and turpentine.
Make the effort to become familiar with each flammable and combustible liquid you use, know the hazards involved, and follow the safe handling and storage practices to prevent accidents. As part of your work routine, you should always examine the Safety Data Sheet for any flammable and combustible liquid you are around.
OSHA’s Standard for Flammable and Combustible Liquids describes certain safety procedures that are required for handling flammable and combustible liquids. OSHA endorses that you should deal with the smallest amount necessary to do a task because safety is so critical when working with these liquids; that’s a good tip.
The level of risk involved in using these supplies is cut dramatically when taking the necessary precautions to work with flammable liquids safely. You can keep your involvement with such substances incident free if you take the right steps and don’t cut any corners.
OSHA guidelines require utilizing only approved containers and portable tanks for holding and moving these substances, and provides guidelines for flammable and combustible liquid containers decided on the size of the container and the type of liquid it holds.
Safety precautions need to be followed even while flammable and combustible liquids are not being used. To give an instance, they must be kept in covered containers. Accepted 5 gallon containers that have spring-closing lids can even be made of plastic. Places that flammable or combustible liquids are transferred from one container to another will be adequately separated from each other, especially if in the same building. It’s important that walls or barriers that have suitable fire resistance separate these areas — that’s an important engineered control.
A second critical control revolves around disposal and drainage; only drainage to a closed system sump is allowed, otherwise spills or leaks must be contained with the storage area for cleanup. Every flammable liquid storage area needs to also have secondary spill containment prevent liquids from getting into the ground or the sewer system.
The hazards around spills of flammable and combustible liquids make it fundamental to promptly and safely handle any leakage or spills that may occur during normal working activities until these materials are removed and disposed of by qualified personnel.
Absorbent materials can properly clean up a spill. When a spill is absorbed, the combustible scraps, debris, and waste materials, such as oily rags, and so on, should be stored in properly labeled and covered metal receptacles. Covered receptacles must be fire-resistant and designed to safely contain solvent wastes and residue from flammable liquid until these materials are removed by licensed cleanup experts. Keep flammable or combustible liquids covered when not in use to prevent spills.
The mere existence of flammable or combustible liquids creates the likelihood that explosive vapors to be present. This means adequate room ventilation needs to be provided at floor level to prevent the accumulation of hazardous concentrations of heavier-than-air vapors where Class I liquids, such as Ether, Pentane, Gasoline, or Hexane are stored, pumped, or dispensed. Air circulation is so important because it keeps flammable vapors moving onward and upward through the ventilation system, which removes the danger of respiratory distress from noxious gases and combustion.