Occupational (OSHA) and Environmental Hazards/Flammable storage cabinets

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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.

Answer
Subject: Flammable storage cabinets

Question: 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 cannot 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.

Answer: I am not going to be able to help. My review of the OSHA regulations finds no mention of this subject nor do most of the other guides I have looked at such as:

Use and Ventilation Requirements for Flammable Liquid Storage
at: www.ehs.psu.edu/help/.../flammable_liquid_storage_cabinet_faq.pdf

My experience on this matter is that I have never worried about paper or cardboard in a cabinet if it was incidental to the storage of the flammables an example would be cans of spray pain in a cardboard box. If stacks of paper were in the cabinet I would object. I might suggest you contact one of the manufacturers of flammable storage cabinets such as Justrite Manufacturing at: http://www.justritemfg.com/contact.tpl?cart=136099607513732586
Perhaps they can give you a reference to a specific code requirement. I hope this will help you find a positive and authoritative answer. If I can be of any further assistance please feel free to ask.

Michael Brown, CSP Retired

Occupational (OSHA) and Environmental Hazards

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Mike Brown CSP Retired

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I specialize in the professional management of occupational safety and health as well as workers` compensation to reduce losses and improve production and address related issues through a comprehensive approach by senior management using proven principals.I worked for over twenty (20) years in the management of occupational safety, health and workers` compensation and safety training (Retired from employment in 1996 due to a stroke, which prevented the extensive travel required).

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