Flammable chemicals are present in nearly every workplace. The way we handle and store these materials is important to keeping a safe workplace, while protecting people and investments. The article below illustrates flammable safety regulations for NFPA and GHS, how flammable chemicals should be properly stored and safety products that will keep workplaces and workers safe.
Defining Flammable Material Regulations
Flammable liquids are defined by the NFPA as “a liquid whose flash point does not exceed 100°F, when tested by closed-cup test methods…”. Examples of flammable liquid materials include gasoline, solvents, pentane, acetone, benzene, diethyl ether, ethanol and cyclohexane.
The flashpoints and boiling points will determine the category of a flammable liquid. See below for a list of OSHA defined flammable liquid categories and their descriptions according to the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals.
Class IA: Liquids with flashpoints below 73F (22.8C) and boiling point below 100F (38C).
Class IB: Liquids with flashpoints below 73F (22.8C) and boiling points at or above 100F (38C).
Class IC: Liquids with flashpoints at or above 73F (22.8C), but less than 100F (38C).
Class II: Liquids that have flashpoints at or above 100F (38C), but less than 140F (93C).
ClassIIIA: Liquids that have flashpoints at or above 140F (60C), but less than 200F (93C).
Other Important OSHA Flammable Liquid Classifications:
- According to the new OSHA flammable liquid classifications, the term “combustible” is removed. According to OSHA, all liquids are now considered “flammable”.
- NFPA Class III, B liquids are are not considered when mentioning the new OSHA fire codes. The NFPA Class III, B liquids are still flammable and can cause a hazardous situation when given appropriate circumstances. This may cause a confusion when storing NFPA Class III, B liquids and mentioning new OSHA flammable liquid classifications.
Safe Storage and Signage for Flammable Materials
Utilize these guidelines to implement a safe storage atmosphere for chemicals, while keeping workers safe from hazardous substances.
- Fire protection onsite
- Personal protective equipment
- Mechanical ventilation
- Spill clean up maintenance (Emergency Response Plan)
- Incompatible material storage must be addressed
- Dispensing Rooms (with ventilation)
- Non-sparking and non-reactive tools
- Use drum dollies when transporting hazardous materials
- Signage and hazard classifications must be in eye sight
Flammable Chemical Safety Products Meet Regulations
When storing flammable materials make sure to use approved safety cabinets, safety cans and chemical storage lockers to meet state and federal regulations.
Flammable Safety Cabinets: OSHA 1910.106(d)(3)(ii), “Fire resistance: Storage cabinets shall be designed and constructed to limit the internal temperature to not more than 325 degrees Farenheit when subjected to a 10-minute fire test using the standard time-temperature curve as set forth in Standard Methods of Fire Tests of Building Construction and Materials, NFPA 251-1969, which is incorporated by reference as specified in Sec. 1910.6.
Inside Chemical Storage Lockers: Under OSHA CFR 1910.106(d)(4)(i), “Inside storage rooms shall be constructed to meet the required fire-resistive rating for their use. Such construction shall comply with the test specifications set forth in Standard Methods of Fire Tests of Building Construction and Materials, NFPA 251-1969…”.
Safety Cans: OSHA CFR 1920.106 (a)(29), “[A] Safety can shall mean an approved container of not more than 5 gallons capacity, having a spring-closing lid and spout cover and so designed that it will safely relieve internal pressure when subjected to fire exposure”.
Learn more about chemical safety lockers, safety cabinets, safety cans and other products by visiting www.uschemicalstorage.com or call 1-800-233-1480.