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More than 3 billion tons of hazardous materials are shipped every year. The most transported hazardous materials in the U.S. are flammable liquids, namely gasoline, totaling up to 66.5% by ton-miles.

Because 94% of daily hazmat shipments are done by truck, it’s essential that the drivers and those who handle these flammable liquids know how they should be properly handling hazardous waste.

How do you properly store flammable and combustible liquids?

The safest way to properly store flammable and combustible liquids is by following the codes of your workplace including fire, electrical, and building codes. These codes give you a specified storage area where these liquids can be placed.

The law also determines where these liquids can be stored and how to construct proper storage areas. Only so many containers can be placed in one area, so be sure to pay close attention to the codes and laws restricting a given product’s volume. The fire code in your area will also tell you the restrictions on stored liquid volumes.

It’s typically recommended not to keep more than a day’s worth of flammable and combustible liquids in a given area. Additionally, glass and plastic containers are never to be used for storing liquids unless metal containers may affect the liquids.

Only those who have undergone OSHA hazmat training should be allowed into the storage area. OSHA hazmat training is necessary not only for legal purposes but also to keep everyone in the workplace safe.

What makes for a good storage area for flammable/combustible liquids?

The best storage areas to place barrels of flammable and combustible liquids are those that are accessible by firefighters, cool and dry, well-ventilated, away from exits, labeled properly, and are free of sources of ignition.

Storage areas are also recommended to be on the ground floor for easy access and should be inspected on a regular basis. This is because any unapproved equipment in the storage area, poor ventilation, or damaged containers can create a hazard. If you do notice any problems in the storage area, be sure to take care of them as soon as possible to prevent an emergency situation.

Required training for shipping hazmat materials and working with hazardous wastes can help you and your employees learn how to safely and securely store these materials and liquids. To learn more about OSHA hazmat training and the options available to you, contact Hazmat School today.

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