Flammable Liquids

A flammable liquid is a liquid having a flash point of not more than 93°C (199.4°F).

The flash point of a liquid is the minimum temperature at which a liquid gives off vapor in sufficient concentration to form an ignitable mixture with air near the surface of the liquid.

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What are the hazards associated with flammable liquids?

Improper storage, handling and use of flammable liquids can cause fires and explosion, which can result in extensive property damage and serious physical injury and death.

Depending upon the specific chemicals involved, exposure to flammable liquids above the respective permissible exposure limits can produce health effects ranging from irritation of the eyes, nose and mouth to acute and chronic toxic effects.

What can I do to protect myself?

Never use flammable liquids in close proximity to ignition sources. Bonding and grounding must be in place when transferring flammable liquids from one container to another. Ensure there is adequate ventilation when pouring and spraying mixtures that contain flammable liquids.

What resources are available to assist employers?

Safety and Health Programs

These example programs, hazard communication, respiratory protection and PPE and hazard analysis can assist the employer with their hazard communication program and identifying the appropriate personal protective equipment required in the workplace.

Training and Outreach Services

Presentations on hazard communication, respiratory protection, and personal protective equipment (general industry and construction) can assist employers in training their staff.  These presentations should be modified to address site-specific conditions and hazards.

In addition, the education, training and technical assistance bureau provides free online safety and health training and outreach services (i.e., speaker's bureau requests, safety booths) upon request. 

Lastly, the NCDOL Library offers free safety and health videos (including streaming video services) and related research assistance on consensus standards (i.e., ANSI, NFPA, NEC).

A-Z Safety and Health Topics

The A-Z safety and health topic pages on respiratory protection, hazard communication, fire prevention planselectrical safety and PPE can provide more resource information. 

Consultation Services

The consultative services bureau provides free and confidential onsite consultation regarding worksite safety and health hazards.

Which standards apply?

OSH has adopted the following standards for flammable liquids in North Carolina. Note: Please also check the standards information and activity webpage to see if there has been any recent or upcoming regulatory activity on this topic. 

General Industry

Maritime, Shipyard Employment


Other Applicable Standards

The Which OSHA Standards Apply webpage can also help identify other standards that may be applicable to your worksite.

Where can I learn more?

Compliance Documents

Industry Guides

Technical Assistance

If you would like to receive interpretive guidance on this or any other OSH standard or topic, you can submit your questions using the Ask OSH web form, by e-mail to ask.osh@labor.nc.gov or by calling 919-707-7876.