This GBCA Safety Toolbox Talk provides tips, guidelines, and reminders for handling flammable liquids on the job site. Click below to download the Toolbox Talk as a handout (includes Sign-In Sheet).



Flammable Liquids on the Job Site

The flash point of a liquid is the temperature at which it gives off sufficient vapor to form an ignitable mixture with air, near the surface of the liquid, or within a container.

Flammable Liquids have a flash point below 100°F and a vapor pressure not exceeding 40 psi at 100°F. Common examples of these on job sites are gasoline, acetone, and turpentine.

Combustible Liquids have a flash point above 100°F. The combustible liquids seen on most construction sites are Class II Liquids, which have a flash point at or above 100°F and below 140°F (60°C). Examples are No. 1, 2 and 3 fuel oils, and kerosene.

These types of liquids are often improperly stored or labeled, so be careful!

Safety Guidelines When Handling Flammable or Combustible Liquids:

  • Store and handle them in APPROVED and MARKED containers.
  • Use safety cans when dispensing flammable and combustible liquids
  • A written identification label indicating the containers specific content must be present on all containers. Red cans are not gas cans unless they read GAS on them.
  • Flammable liquid containers/cans must have a flash arresting screen. This prevents the liquid inside the can from combusting if exposed to fire. The flash arresting screen extinguishes the fire before it can reach the fuel.
  • NEVER smoke, use spark-producing equipment, or use flame around these liquids.
  • Do not fill running machinery with fuel. Turn off the engine.
  • Post “NO SMOKING” signs as required near flammable materials storage areas.
  • Fuel gas cylinders and oxygen cylinders must be separated by a minimum distance of 20 feet, or with fire resistant barriers. Keep oily rags away from these cylinders.
  • Fuel storage tanks must be guarded to prevent damage from vehicular traffic.

Fire Extinguishers must be present near flammable materials. Follow this checklist:

  • Distribute fire extinguishers properly around the worksite, free from obstructions, and with clear pathways to access them.
  • Check that the correct type of extinguisher is present for the type of flammables nearby.
  • Regularly inspect fire extinguishers.
  • Ensure that all job site workers have been trained on how to use fire extinguishers.


Remember to record the attendees of your toolbox talk!