How to Use a Safety Can to Transport Gasoline

The Importance of Following Safety Can Transportation Laws and Guidelines

The transportation of gasoline and diesel on public roads and highways is extremely common for many businesses today, whether you operate a tow truck, mow lawns, farm, or something else entirely. What is less common, unfortunately, is a strong understanding of the laws and guidelines that dictate how gasoline and other fuels should be transported. Gasoline is a highly flammable liquid and is extremely dangerous when not handled properly. 

That is why organizations like the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) have made it their job to keep businesses and their employees safe by producing the standards for safe gasoline transportation. These standards should not be taken lightly. Failure to comply can result in fines or other legal action, damage to property, personal injury, and even death. When the time comes for you to transport gasoline or diesel on roadways, we hope you take the necessary precautions and follow the regulations laid out to protect you and those around you.

Choose your Safety Cans and Containers

Safety Cans

How Do I Know If I Need an OSHA-Compliant Safety Can?

When identifying what kind of safety can you need, the determining factors are the purpose and context of your actions. While personal use is relatively lax, commercial businesses are held accountable by OSHA and are required to use OSHA-compliant safety cans. It is possible that, depending on circumstances, you will also be required to have a safety can that meets DOT standards. Understanding which standards apply to your circumstances is essential in determining what kind of safety can you need.

A Guide to OSHA Violations for Safety Cans


How do I Know if I Need to Use a DOT-Compliant Safety Can?

If you will be traveling with gasoline commercially, it is possible that you will be required to use a safety can that meets DOT standards. In addition to the requirements set forth by OSHA, the DOT has set forth standards in order to make safety cans safer for travel.

Gasoline is considered a hazardous material and when transported in commerce, it requires a DOT Transport Steel Safety Can For Flammables. That being said, it is also considered a material of trade and is subject to the DOT’s material of trade exception. This means that in certain circumstances businesses can transport limited quantities of gasoline without using a DOT Transport Steel Safety Can For Flammables. It depends on the purpose of the gasoline you are transporting. Gasoline that is being transported to support the operation of a business whose primary function is not the transportation of gasoline would fall under the materials of trade exception, meaning that they are not required to use the DOT safety can. It is important to understand that the application of the materials of trade exception is highly nuanced. However, it does apply to many different businesses and industries. Contact the DOT to determine if your circumstances fall under the material of trades exception.

What Makes a Safety Can OSHA-Compliant?

Safety cans have a number of features in order to comply with OSHA requirements. For starters, the can size cannot exceed five gallons. Additionally, the can must be equipped with a self-closing lid to prevent spilling and splashing, and with a flame arrester within the fill/pour spout to prevent flashback ignition. OSHA-compliant safety cans must also be equipped with pressure relief mechanisms to avoid pressure buildup within the can. OSHA-compliant safety cans can be found in both Types I and II safety cans. Type I refers to cans with only one opening for filling and pouring, and Type II has a separate filling opening and pouring spout. Choosing the right can for your needs between these two options will depend on your specific application.

If you will not be transporting gasoline on public roadways for commercial use or fall under the materials of trade exception, then meeting the OSHA requirements outlined above is sufficient.

Type I Safety Cans


Does Your Gas Can Meet OSHA Requirements?

Justrite carries a variety of OSHA-compliant Type I and Type II safety cans for you to choose from that are OSHA-compliant.


What Makes a Safety Can DOT-Compliant?

DOT-compliant safety cans are required to have a locking mechanism on the cap and additional bracing surrounding the opening and the parts there. The lock is intended to prevent splashing and spilling while driving and features a fusible link that melts in the event of a fire, allowing the can to vent excess pressure. The bracing is designed to protect the cap, trigger, spout, and anything else on top of the can from damage.

All Justrite Type II DOT safety cans are equipped with these features. They have rugged roll bars to protect the can and an easy-to-use tightening screw to secure the cap for travel. If you have determined that you will need a safety can that meets DOT standards, you can find a wide range of options for DOT safety cans here.

Choose your Type II DOT Approved Safety Gas Cans

Type II DOT Cans

How do I Use a Safety Can to Transport Gasoline Safely on the Road?

DOT-compliant safety cans are easy to prepare for travel. Simply attach the hold-down bracket to the top of the lid, and it is in travel mode. However, having the right can is only the first step in safely transporting gasoline. A number of other steps should be taken to ensure your travels are both safe and compliant. We compiled a list of guidelines to follow when transporting gasoline, listed out below.

  • • When filling your gasoline or diesel safety can, do not fill it completely. You should leave some space to allow for the expansion of vapors.
  • • Gasoline cannot be transported in the cab of the vehicle, and the safety can should be placed in a well-ventilated area.
  • • Do not fill the safety can while it is on the truck or vehicle. Take it off first, and ensure that there is no risk of static charge build-up.
  • • If you spill any gasoline in the filling process, clean it up immediately. 
  • • Secure the safety can in the upright position and strap it firmly in place. When strapping it down, do not put any pressure on the fill/pour spout or the trigger. Strapping to the spout or trigger could damage them, and it defeats the purpose of having the roll bars in place.
  • • Before embarking, always double-check your can’s safety features to ensure that they appear to be functioning properly.
  • • Keep fire extinguishers close at hand at all times in case of a fire.
  • • Always store the safety can away from any fires, sparks, or any other heat-generating sources.
  • • When not in transit, gasoline should be stored in a safety cabinet or other secure location, not on the vehicle.
DOT Safety Cans


Following these tips is the best way to ensure that your travels go smoothly when transporting fuels on roadways while on the job.


Gasoline Transport 101: How To Safely Transport Gasoline Guide

This guide is intended to serve only as a reference and is not a substitute for comprehensive knowledge of the safety procedures and regulations surrounding gasoline and its transportation. We assume no liability for the use or misuse of this information.

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