Flammable Storage Cabinets And Why You Need Them
This article is provided for those responsible for the safe storage of flammable liquids around the workplace, covering the storage of flammable goods in containers. You will discover how to control the fire and explosion risk hazards associated with liquids of a flammable nature stored around you workplace. People in the workplace are also at risk from flammable liquids such as flammable liquid vapours which can also have an environmental effect on people health & safety. When carrying out your risk assessment for the safe handling and storage of flammable liquids you will need to take into consideration an emergency plan which needs to include flammable liquid spillages and what effect the vapours have on people around you workplace including any harmful effects on the environment.
All flammable liquids present in workplaces which are stored, handled and used as part of the day-to-day working practices will need to conform to DSEAR which requires you to identify risks towards your employees health & safety, the object of the risk assessment is to reduce or eliminate as far as possible the risks to people and the environment with regards to flammable liquids, their vapours and risks from explosions. Your risk assessment needs to be completed no matter the quantity of flammable liquids around the workplace as this outcome will enable you discover whether your existing measures are compliant or whether further control measures are required.
Flammable liquid hazards are mainly associated to fire and explosion and to make this happen it will require the presence of the fuel, a source of ignition and air or oxygen, as a result, the fuel in this case will be flammable liquids, flammable gases and flammable solids, the sources of ignition will be from smoking or naked flames (such as lighters or matches), static electricity, hot surfaces and electrical equipment, and the air or oxygen, all of these form a fire triangle and to extinguish the fire we remove one or more sides of the fire triangle so the fire cannot survive, one of the most common and highly effective ways of extinguishing fires involving flammable liquids and flammable solids is by using foam or powder fire extinguishers which are portable and easy to use, to help reduce or eliminate the possibility of flammable liquid and flammable solid fires occurring in the first place is to look at the fire triangle and determine how you can reduce or eliminate (as far as reasonably practical) the chances of a fire starting in the first place.
Lets's look into some common causes of incidents and what you can do to reduce the risks, you now know that fires and explosions can happen when flammable liquids or vapours are released from an environment which is controlled to another area in which there may be a source of ignition, or on the other hand a source of ignition is introduced to the controlled environment, with this in mind incidents can happen when workers are manually handling and transporting flammables from area of the workplace to another, hot works being carried out nearby and incorrectly cleaning up flammable liquid spillages. Water and solvent mixtures or emulsions my release vapours which are flammable only slowly but can still generate enough concentration to form an ignitable mixture with air to have a flashpoint depending on the environment around your workplace.
Depending on the size and nature of your workplace you will have some form of flammable liquids or flammable goods which may not necessarily be correctly stored, if this is the case and untrained staff are unaware of the consequences of handling flammable liquids this could result in a risk of fire or explosion from the vapours, to ensure you keep your workplace safe from fire and explosion risks from flammable liquids and solids ensure your risk assessment is up to date, provide staff with any necessary training on handling, transporting and storing the flammable goods, flammable goods and liquids must be stored in metal fire-proof containers, cupboards or chests which must be labelled to show the contents are flammable, ensure they are kept locked at all times by nominating specific key workers access to help unauthorised access by untrained personnel.