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!