Working Safely with Flammable Liquids

Course Description:

The main objective of this session is to help you work more safely with flammable liquids. By the time the session is over, you will be able to understand what a flammable liquid is; identify flammable liquid hazards; take proper precautions when storing, dispensing, and handling flammable liquids; prevent fires, explosions, and exposures; and know what to do in an emergency involving flammable liquids.

Course Duration: 34 minutes

Why “Working Safely with Flammable Liquids” Matters:

A violent explosion at a manufacturing facility destroyed the facility, heavily damaged dozens of nearby homes and businesses, injured 10 people, and caused the evacuation of more than 300 residents within a half-mile radius of the facility. The explosion was fueled by vapor released from a 2,000-gallon tank of highly flammable liquid. An unknown ignition source ignited the flammable atmosphere, causing the explosion.

A fire and explosion at a paint factory seriously injured three workers and damaged the factory. Components used in the mixture of the paints made at the factory were highly flammable. A static spark or even a hot lightbulb could have caused vapors to ignite.

A fire started when a 300-gallon portable steel tank was being filled with ethyl acetate, a flammable solvent. The fire spread rapidly, igniting a large volume of flammable liquids stored nearby. A plume of smoke and rocketing barrels and debris triggered an evacuation of the businesses surrounding the facility. The main warehouse structure was destroyed, but miraculously, no one was injured.

Key Points:

  • Flammable liquids can ignite with explosive force.
  • Keep these liquids away from all ignition sources.
  • Follow proper storage, dispensing, and handling procedures.
  • Use only approved containers that are properly labeled.
  • Review the label and safety data sheet (SDS) for safety and health information about the flammable liquids you work with.

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