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Best Practices for Flammable Liquid Storage Safety

Best Practices for Flammable Liquid Storage Safety: A Comprehensive Guide

Flammable liquids pose inherent risks in various industrial settings, making proper storage crucial for workplace safety. This article will look at best practices regarding flammable liquid storage and will emphasize the significance of compliance of the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) in South Africa. In particular, we will discuss the contributions of flammable cabinets and corrosive cabinets to reducing such hazards.

What are Flammable Liquids?

Flammable liquids are substances that can easily ignite and burn before reaching their boiling point. These liquids have lower flash points, which are defined as the lowest temperature at which they can vaporize and form a combustible mixture with air. When such a mixture gets in touch with open flames, sparks, or other igniters, it can result in fire.

Some common examples of flammable liquids include:

Gasoline: Used as a fuel widely for internal combustion motors.

Diesel fuel: Another common fuel for diesel engines

Alcohols: Examples of flammable alcohols include ethanol and methanol.

Kerosene: It is utilized as a fuel for heating and making lamps.

Acetone: The solvent is very common in nail polish remover and paint thinner.

Ether: A laboratory solvent is a volatile one.

Petroleum-based solvents: For instance, xylene, toluene, and mineral spirits.

Some paints and varnishes: Particularly those containing volatile solvents.

Adhering to OHSA Regulations

The Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) outlines the entire framework for workplace safety and also includes requirements for the safe storage of dangerous chemicals and liquids. Adherence to these requirements minimizes risk and prevents legal actions as a result of harmful fires or exposure to hazardous materials.

Storage Containers and Cabinets for Flammable Liquids

Flammable Cabinets

Safety cabinets, fire cabinets, or flammable cabinets are special cabinets intended for keeping flammable liquids in safe conditions. These engineered cabinets are designed to reduce the occurrence of fire and also shield contents against outside ignition. They help keep the workplace safe by keeping hazardous materials locked up and under control.

For more information on how to choose the right flammable cabinets, read our latest SHEQ feature article: Click Here

Corrosive Cabinets

A corrosive cabinet, sometimes referred to as an acid cabinet, is a specially constructed storage structure designed to protect corrosive solvents like acids and alkalines. Such cabinets are made from corrosion resistant materials and have features that shield the stored chemicals and the environment.

Why Should Flammable Cabinets Be Well Ventilated?

It is important for flammable cabinets to be well ventilated in order to ensure workplace safety. Flammable liquids release vapours which can create an explosive atmosphere within the cabinet. Proper ventilation of flammable cabinets is essential for ensuring workplace safety by addressing the inherent risks associated with the storage of flammable liquids. Apart from reducing the possibility of fire, efficient ventilation improves on emergency response, increases total employee safety as well as adheres to legal requirements. Ventilation forms an important part of the comprehensive safety measures in places where flammable cabinets are used, promoting a healthier and safer working environment for all personnel involved.

Why is it Important to Separate Flammable Liquids?

Separating flammable liquids away from incompatible materials is one of the key safety measures. Flammable Cabinets aid this process by providing a segregated area to store flammable liquids. In addition, corrosive cabinets help in the promotion of safe storage practices by separating corrosive materials and avoiding any unwanted chemical combinations that may lead to unfortunate circumstances.

Why Should Flammable Cabinets Be Grounded?

Grounding flammable cabinets is a critical safety measure that helps prevent the buildup of static electricity, reducing the risk of sparks that could potentially ignite flammable vapours. Flammable liquids stored in cabinets can generate static electricity through processes like pouring or transferring the liquids, especially when the containers are not properly bonded to the cabinet. Flammable cabinets are often designed with grounding mechanisms to dissipate static charges, reducing the likelihood of sparks that could ignite volatile substances.

Labeling, Signage, and Documentation

Cabinets storing flammable and corrosive products should have legible labels that specify their contents. Appropriate signage for storage areas helps guide employees and emergency responders. This is according to what is demanded by OHSA, and it makes sure that there is an open book record of all safe storage practices followed.

Emergency Preparedness

In case of fire or chemical spills, the flammable cabinets are able to hold and reduce the negative effects of such incidents. The employees should be trained on emergency response procedures, which involves the use of appropriate safety equipment during rescue efforts.


Adhering to best practices for flammable liquid storage is not just a legal requirement but a fundamental aspect of ensuring workplace safety. Flammable and corrosive cabinets provide an easy way of storing flammable and hazardous materials in compliance with OHSA standards in South Africa. Investing in quality storage solutions enhances employee safety and meets regulatory standards.

Additional Resources

For more detailed information on flammable liquid storage safety and compliance with the OHSA, refer to the official Occupational Health and Safety Act documentation available here. Additionally, Spill Doctor South Africa offers a range of high-quality flammable and corrosive cabinets designed to meet regulatory standards and enhance workplace safety. Visit our online store for product details and specifications.