Occupational (OSHA) and Environmental Hazards/Flammable storage cabinets


"Hi, I've been a Safety Coordinator in manufacturing for over 14 years. I've learned from previous Safety Managers and have always enforced the fact that no paper, cardboard, etc. items shall be placed in a Flammable Storage Cabinets with flammable liquids. I've recently started with a new company and I've tried to enforce this "rule" here as well. I've had questions as to why they aren't supposed to store small cases (cardboard boxes) of flammable liquids in these flammable storage cabinets. They want to see something in writing that states they can not store paper, cardboard, etc. in flammable storage cabinets. I can't find anything from OSHA/NFPA, etc. that states not to store paper, cardboard, etc. items in flammable storage cabinets. My response to them has been "Do not store paper or cardboard or other combustible packaging material in a flammable-liquid cabinet.
Separate flammable and combustible materials from other storage items to prevent greater damage should an explosion or fire occur. My question is: Is there anything in writing from OSHA/NFPA, etc. that states paper, cardboard, combustible, etc. items should not be stored in a Flammable Storage Cabinet? If so, where can I find it?
Thank you in advance for your help in this matter."

Lynn excellent question!  I personally don't have a problem with keeping flammable liquids in their original paper/cardboard packaging inside the flammable storage cabinets.  Think of it this way, the flammable liquid inside a storage cabinet has a much lower flash point than paper.  If you were unlucky enough to have a fire inside of a flammable storage cabinet, the paper would be the least of your worries.  Moreover, if it's safe to keep flammable liquid in the cabinet, why would the combustible packaging be at risk?  There are no clear answers for the question you ask, other than, asking the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ), the Fire Marshal.  Some fire marshals have a problem with it, others don't.  Many companies enforce their own rules an interpretations of what they think is required.  You shouldn't store combustibles on or around a flammable storage cabinet.  I have not seen anything specific regarding what you are looking for, sorry.  If you have further questions or need any additional information, do not hesitate to contact me.  Thanks

Occupational (OSHA) and Environmental Hazards

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Robert Tipton, CSP


I can answer questions regarding OSHA general industry and construction compliance, industrial hygiene, workers compensation, general safety issues, Lockout/Tag-out, Power Press safety, Laser Safety, Ergonomics and Fire safety.


I have worked over 5 years in the insurance industry conducting loss prevention services, worked two years as an OSHA Safety Compliance Officer, over 15 years in manufacturing as a safety professional.

American Society of Safety Professionals ASSE

Bachelor of Science degree in Safety Science from Indiana University of Pennsylvania Certified Safety Professional, CSP by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals for over ten years.

©2017 About.com. All rights reserved.