Flammable Liquids laws & safety compliance analysis

Flammable Liquids: What you need to know


OSHA’s flammable liquids standard explains what these substances are and how to store and use them safely. The primary hazards associated with flammable liquids are explosion and fire. The standard contains details on constructing and locating storage areas for flammable liquids to prevent buildup of hazardous vapors and procedures to control and extinguish any fires that do start. The regulation also includes steps to follow to prevent contact between flammable liquids and ignition sources. The term “combustible” liquid has been deleted from the flammable liquids regulation.

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OSHA has revised and renamed the standard from “flammable and combustible liquids” to “flammable liquids” in order to align with the requirements of the new hazard categories for flammable liquids adopted under OSHA’s hazard communication rules. The hazard communication rule was revised to align with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals, or GHS.

According to OSHA, the changes to the flammable liquids rule are relatively minor with no significant effect on employee safety. The most significant changes involve terminology and definitions; OSHA has not changed the scope or the basic requirements of the rule. There are no changes in work practices. The revisions include new definitions of flammable liquid, flammable aerosols, slight modifications to the criteria for flashpoint, and other changes in terminology.

Effective Dates for Compliance

Though the revised flammable liquids rule goes into effect on May 25, 2012, the effective dates for compliance by employers will follow the phase-in or transition compliance deadlines prescribed in the hazard communication ...

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