We have all read about explosions and fires from time to time where flammable and hazardous liquids have been the cause.
To minimize the risk of flammable liquids, materials and gases on work concessions across the UK, strict regulations called The Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002 (DSEAR) were introduced to provide clear guidelines for the storing and containing of flammable gas and liquids. Within the regulations, the amount of such hazardous assets must be controlled to a maximum amount on a site to minimize the risk and danger of accidents and accidents. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is the UK's independent organization for health, safety and illness in the UK's workplaces and makes recommendations for organizations handling and working with flammable substances to help decrease risks.
The DSEAR regulations stipulate that the employer responsible should justify the reasons why a flammable and hazardous liquid is required on-site in the first place, and also provide a ratione and evidence why the minimum amount required for the required work procedures is stored on-site at any one time.
The amounts that can be stored on-site will also be in accordance with the recommended amounts deemed to be within industrial guidelines for safe practice. The amount that can be stored will also depend upon the level of the measured flash point for the flammable liquid. The flash point of a flammable liquid will determine the safety hazard and therefore risk of a liquid's flammability. Measuring the flash point will also determine the hazard group in which the liquid will be classified which in turn will determine the precautions to take when manufacturing, storing, distributing and utilizing the liquid. A flash point is the temperature to which a liquid must be heated before it will produce a flammable mixture of vapor in air that will ignite when an ignition source is applied.
Within EU legislation, flammable liquids have a flash point between 21 degree Celsius and 55 degree Celsius and highly flammable liquids have a flash point below 21 degree Celsius.
For flammable liquids that need to be stored on-site, there are additional regulations and specifications for the storage to mitigate risk factors. Suitable storage facilities for flammable liquids need to be implemented and be locked and secured. Suitable containers and storage facilities including storage cages, cabinets or bins should be made from fire-resistant materials and should also be kept well out of the way of work areas, production areas and fire exits. The containers and storage areas should also be free of gaps and holes with tight-fitting lids and joints, and the fasteners and supports within a storage container should be made from a material with a melting point higher than 750 degree Celsius.
It is also stipulated that flammable and hazardous liquids which could compromise the safety of the flammable liquids, such as corrosives, should be stored separately.