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Gasoline is an extremely flammable liquid fuel. It should always be handled and stored properly in order to reduce the likelihood of fires and explosions. Personal injuries ranging from first degree burns to fatalities can result from improper handling and storage practices. Safety cans are designed to control the flammable vapors of gasoline and to provide a safe and convenient means for storage and transfer. Underwriters Laboratories (UL) approved safety cans should be used to carry, dispense, and store gasoline in quantities up to five gallons.
Failure to use approved metal containers for flammable or combustible liquids has often been cited by compliance officers. However, earlier this year, OSHA revised the rule on safety cans (1926.152(a)(1), allowing D.O.T. approved plastic safety cans. It was further determined that these plastic containers need not be equipped with a spring closing lid, spout cover and flash arresting screen.
Nevertheless, many state safety codes and jurisdictions will allow only metal safety cans on the worksite, at least until local codes are changed. Construction managers may feel that plastic will not hold up as well under heavy use and handling. Whatever standards must be followed, it is important to understand the features and benefits of a safety container so that you and your co-workers can best guard against fire or explosion.
Approved safety cans have several basic design qualities:
Finally, it is extremely dangerous to carry gasoline--even in a safety can--in the trunk of a vehicle. If the trunk heats up from the sun, the contents of the can will expand and pressure will raise the springed cap. This permits vapors to accumulate in the trunk, and an explosion may result.
Do your part to prevent fires that can lead to serious burns, loss of life
and significant property damage. Whether it is required or just good sense,
always use approved safety cans when handling gasoline or other flammable
liquids. Periodically inspect the cap, spring and flame arrester screen as well,
to be sure it will provide the safety you expect.
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