Tips on Handling Flammable Materials at the Workplace

Flammable liquids such as paints, gasoline, or cleaning fluids always require expert handling and storage. Irrespective of your industry, your employees must adhere to regulatory protocols to minimize risks and ensure safe storage.

Unfortunately, proper flammable liquids storage can be difficult. It’s always best to consult an expert who can help you figure out the best way to handle and store these liquids.

Why Do Flammable Liquids Burn?

Keep in mind that the liquids themselves don’t burn. But once the liquid evaporates, it releases vapors that form dangerous gases. Such combustible gases can ignite from the smallest of sparks, open flames, or static electric charges.

For instance, hot surfaces like welding torches can also lead to a fire. Such types of fires burn brighter and hotter compared to wood or paper. Additionally, some dangerous liquids can also release poisonous gases. For this reason, you shouldn’t store flammable liquids near ignition points. It’s essential to have a proper ventilation system in your workspace to help dissipate the vapors.

Flammable substances also have different flashpoints. This means the liquid has a minimum temperature at which it evaporates and becomes susceptible to ignition. As the temperature rises, the rate of evaporation also increases, producing more vapors. The lower the flashpoint of the liquid, the greater the chances of fire or explosion.

How Should Flammable Materials Be Stored?

Flammable liquids need specific containers to ensure safe storage. For instance, you should store LPG (liquified petroleum gas) in a pressurized cylinder. This is because the substance is vulnerable to collision, heat, and corrosion.

To ensure vapors aren’t released into the air or inhaled by an individual in the vicinity, you must store the liquids in covered outdoor units. Any personnel with access to these storage units should wear PPE clothing for respiratory protection.

When your employees are dealing with flammable liquids, they must:

  • Have complete knowledge of the flammable liquid safety data sheet.
  • Use and store flammable liquids in ventilated areas near you.
  • Use approved containers and tanks for flammable liquids storage.
  • Keep containers closed when they’re not in use.
  • Ensure proper labelling on the containers or tanks.
  • Install flammable liquid safety storage cabinets.
  • Ensure flammable materials are away from passageways.
  • Be aware of ignition sources and points in the vicinity.
  • Store flammable liquids at safe temperature conditions.
  • Dispense only what is required for a specific task.
  • Use personal protective equipment and clothing.
  • Clean up spills immediately to avoid any kind of ignition.
  • Wash off any stains or spills from your clothing.

Safeguard Your Workspace

If you’re in the business of handling and storing flammable liquid, don’t take it lightly. Improper storage or lack of ventilation can lead to serious incidents in the workplace. To address such issues, you should use approved and labelled containers for storing combustible liquids. This decreases the chances of a fire outbreak.

Here at S.A.F.E Engineering, we can help you mitigate any potential risks associated with flammable liquids storage. We work with industry experts who can guide you on flammable cabinet storage guidelines.

Get in touch with our storage specialists for a customized quote.

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