OSHA Compliance and Safety Cabinets: Your Responsibilities
Are you struggling with how to properly store flammable liquids in an OSHA approved storage cabinet?
The “Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970” (Public Law 91-596) was passed to ensure workers are not killed or seriously harmed at work. The law requires workspaces to be free of any known danger, including safety from dangerous liquids. The Act outlines the duties of employers and the penalties for failing to address such duties.
Section 5 states the duties of the employer. Each employer:
- “shall furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees”
- “shall comply with occupational safety and health standards promulgated under this Act.”
Further, (29 USC 654), “Each employee shall comply with occupational safety and health standards and all rules, regulations, and orders issued pursuant to this Act which are applicable to his own actions and conduct”
Section 17 of the Act outlines the penalties of failing to address the act: “Any employer who willfully or repeatedly violates the requirements of section 5 of this Act, any standard, rule, or order promulgated pursuant to section 6 of this Act, or regulations prescribed pursuant to this Act, may be assessed a civil penalty of not more than $70,000 for each violation, but not less than $5,000 for each willful violation.”
The OSHA, NFPA, and FM too have regulations for storing flammable liquids.
Flammable Storage Units (OSHA 1910)
A flammable liquid is any liquid with a flash point below 100℉ (37.8℃) or higher, making up 99 percent of the total volume of the mixture. Measuring flash point is important because it is directly related to a liquid’s volatility, and vapor is a key factor in determining fire hazardness. Generally, liquids with low flash points display a rapid rate of flame. Flammable liquids are Class I liquids and are divided into 3 subclasses.
Class IA flammables are liquids with a flash point below 73℉ (22.8℃) ; boiling point below 100℉ (37.8℃).
- Class IB flammables are liquids with a flash point below 73℉ (22.8℃) ; boiling point at or above 100℉ (37.8℃).
- Class IC flammables are liquids with a flash point at or above 73℉ (22.8℃), but less than 100℉ (37.8℃).
A combustible liquid is any liquid with a flash point at or above 100ºF (37.8ºC). Combustible liquids are broken into two classes: Class II and Class III.
Class II combustibles are liquids with a flash point at or above 100℉ (37.8℃), but less than 140℉ (60℃). This does not include any mixture having components with flash points of 200ºF (93.3ºC) or more with the total volume making up 99 percent or more of the total volume of the mixture
Class III liquids is any liquid with flash points at or above 140ºF (60ºC) and are broken into two subclasses.
Class IIIA combustibles are liquids with a flash point at or above 140℉ (60℃), but less than 200℉ (93℃). This does not include any mixture having components with flash points of 200ºF (93.3ºC) or more with the total volume making up 99 percent or more of the total volume of the mixture.
- Class IIIB combustibles are liquids with a flash point at or above 200℉ (93℃).
Characteristics of an OSHA Compliant Cabinet (OSHA 1910, NFPA 30, FM 6050)
There are important features to consider with choosing a storage unit to meet regulations. These include:
Reinforced 18-gauge construction
- Top, bottom, sides, back and doors with double wall construction and 1 1/2” airspace
- Leak proof sill 2” deep
- Two vents with flash arrestors
- Non-sparking, 3-point self-latching doors
- Adjustable leveling legs
- Locking handle
- Static grounding bolt OSHA compliant
- Large Warning Label
As an employer, it is important to be knowledgeable of safety regulations and the best ways to store your flammable liquids. For more information on the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 and OSHA guidelines, visit osha.gov.
Choosing a Safety Cabinet for Flammable and Combustible Liquids
There are number of Securall Safety Storage Cabinets that ensure flammable liquids are organized and stored safely, limiting employee exposure. If not stored correctly, hazardous liquids can cause explosion, release of pressure, fire, reactivity, overexposure, or environmental contamination. Understanding the NFPA’s Flammable and Combustible Classes helps you properly meet your storage needs, avoiding harm or breaking the law.
We help clients choose the best storage cabinets at the best prices to meet OSHA compliance, Call Toll Free 1-866-867-0306 today.