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:
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.
Many chemicals used in everyday life are flammable or hazardous to humans. Cleaning materials contain ignitable solvents. Pool chemicals contain acids that cause chemical burns. Labor laws (OSHA) and fire codes (NFPA) regulate chemical storage in commercial buildings and industries.
Any workplace using chemicals or oils has the potential for a spill. These occur when a product escapes from its primary container, which could be anything from a 55-gallon drum to an IBC or even a bottle.
Different types of paint have different storage requirements. Solvent-based paints contain flammable materials and have stricter storage requirements. Water-based paints are less hazardous and have fewer restrictions. It is important to know what kind of paint you are storing and relevant OSHA and NFPA requirements.
Many industries use 55-gallon drums to store and move chemicals, oils and other products. Storing materials close to their point of use is convenient for operations. In the cases of certain machinery and equipment, this means storing some drums outdoors, even if most of the drums remain in a central warehouse.
Everyone appreciates manicured lawns, beautiful gardens and the smell of fresh cut grass in the summer. Not everyone has the time to devote to yard maintenance. Landscaping and lawn care companies provide this valuable service. They use fuel-powered equipment like lawnmowers, chain saws and blowers daily. But working with gasoline comes with risks of fire and explosion.
Approved safety cans, as required by OSHA, are found in many different industries and facilities. They provide a safe and convenient method of moving, dispensing, or temporarily storing up to 5 gallons of flammable liquids.
We use safety gas cans at home, in the workplace and on job sites. Not all fuel containers are created equal. Industrial safety cans have features like flame arresters and pressure relief valves. Their design helps prevent incidents. Yet, simply using a safety gas can won’t guarantee your safety. Applying best safety practices are also key.