OSHA and the NFPA develop regulations to keep employees safe and limit the risk of fire. Both organizations have created a set of requirements for flammable storage cabinets and containers.
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Flammable and combustible are terms used to describe how easily a liquid ignites. While we usually use the term to describe liquids, it is not the liquid that burns – it’s the vapor given off by the liquid. So, what is the difference between flammable and combustible? Flammable liquids burn at normal working temperatures while combustible liquids need heat before they will ignite.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) tracks structural fires caused by hot work. A 2016 report revealed that from 2010 to 2014, hot work caused an average of 4,440 structural fires each year. These resulted in property damage of $287 million and approximately 12 fatalities annually.
Cleaning equipment parts seems like a simple operation without much risk. But, Plant Engineering highlights the hazards of corrosive cleaning solutions. These types of dangerous chemicals top their list of safety hazards to avoid in manufacturing jobs.
When splashed with hazardous chemicals, the longest it should take anyone to reach an emergency shower and eyewash station is 10 seconds. That’s hardly any time - about as long as it takes to turn on the tap and fill a glass with water or tie your shoes.
Laboratories store and handle different chemicals in their daily operation. Some are flammable and some are corrosive, while others are completely inert. One key to laboratory safety is keeping using chemical containers that minimize the risk of spills, fires and toxic vapors. Carboy containers provide these functions.
Mixing incompatible materials together can result in explosions, fires and severe injuries. An article in Lab Manager Magazine reports that improper storage of chemicals accounts for 25 percent of all chemical accidents in labs. The article describes the following examples of two serious lab incidents, both involving nitric acid:
Are safety cans okay for outdoor use? This question comes up often. The answer is definitely yes. But, understand the risks and mitigate them. Precautions to take when using safety gas cans outdoors.
Flammable storage cabinets arrive at a site on pallets, often carried by forklift to their station. Keeping the flammable safety cabinet on a pallet may seem convenient. It makes it easier to move. It might also seem like a good idea to keep it elevated off the floor, so that any leak or chemical spill will be visible.