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Safe Work Australia has published a best practice guide on the storage of flammable liquids in the workplace.

It is aimed at small to medium sized businesses and details legal compliance, safety standards and information on storage requirements and how to label containers.

A step-by-step process for identifying, assessing and controlling risks associated with storing flammable liquids is also provided.

Once risks are identified businesses need to take stock of their flammable liquids and identify ignition sources.

“Places where flammable gases, vapours, dusts, fumes and mists are likely to be present in the air in a flammable or explosive concentration are hazardous areas,” the guide explains.

“Always begin by eliminating risks where it is reasonably practicable, as this is the most effective way to stop an incident from occurring.”

It then goes on to explain how to manage and store flammable liquids.

“Engineering controls are a very reliable way to control the risks of hazardous chemicals as long as they are designed, used and maintained properly,” according to the guide.

Key engineering controls include drainage, ventilation, safe electrical equipment, enclosed transfer systems and fire protection systems.

The final section of the guide deals with placards and how to maintain controls including regular inspection schedules and staff training.

Safe Work Australia said the guide should be read in conjunction with the How to manage work health and safety risks guide,  the Code of Practice for Managing risks of hazardous chemicals in the workplace and the Managing risks of storing hazardous chemicals in the workplace guide.

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