Hazards of Chemicals and Gases
FLAMMABLE AND COMBUSTIBLE LIQUIDS
Figure 9 Storage Container With
A summary of reports of experimental evidence and practical experience in the petroleum
industry shows that no significant increase in fire safety is gained by the use of spark-resistant
hand tools in the presence of gasoline and similar hydrocarbon vapors. However, some materials
such as carbon disulfide, acetylene, and ethyl ether have very low ignition energy requirements.
For these and similar materials, the use of special tools designed to minimize the danger of
sparks in hazardous locations can be recognized as a conservative safety measure.
Leather-faced, plastic, and wood tools are free from the friction-spark hazard, although metallic
particles may possibly become embedded in them.
Flammable and combustible liquids and their vapors may create health hazards from both skin
contact and inhalation of toxic vapors. Irritation results from the solvent action of many
flammable liquids on the natural skin oils and tissue. A toxic hazard of varying degree exists in
practically all cases, depending on the concentration of the vapor.
Most vapors from flammable and combustible
liquids are heavier than air and will flow into
pits, tank openings, confined areas, and low
places in which they contaminate the normal
air, and cause a toxic as well as explosive
atmosphere. Oxygen deficiency occurs in
closed containers, such as a tank which has
been closed for a long time, and in which
rusting has consumed the oxygen. All
containers should be aired and tested for toxic
and flammable atmosphere as well as the
oxygen level before entry.
Class I and Class II liquids should not be kept
or stored in a building except in approved
containers, as illustrated in Figure 9, within
either a storage cabinet or a storage room that
does not have an opening that communicates
with the public portion of the building. The
spring-loaded cover is designed to open in
order to relieve internal vapor pressure.
Quantities stored in such locations should be
limited. They should not be stored so as to limit use of exits, stairways, or areas normally used
for the safe egress of people. Neither should they be stored close to stoves or heated pipes, nor
exposed to the rays of the sun or other sources of heat.