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OSHA's language tends to be less prescriptive and defers to other regulating bodies where they are more specific. In this case, the applicable OSHA standard is 29 CFR 1910.106, Flammable and Combustible Liquids, which is based on NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) 30 Flammable and Combustible Liquids Code. The 1969 version of NFPA 30 is incorporated by reference and is therefore, legally enforceable by OSHA. Of course, NFPA 30 has been updated many times since 1969, so although OSHA requires employers to be in compliance with the 1969 version of NFPA 30; OSHA will also accept compliance with the most current version of NFPA 30 (and certainly that is the best way to go).
See this page for FAQs about the NFPA 30 standard.
A flammable liquid is defined by OSHA and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 30, "Flammable and Combustible Liquids Code," as any liquid with:
� a flashpoint below 100� F. (37.8� C) and
� a vapor pressure not exceeding 40 psia 100� F.
Flammable liquids are called Class 1 liquids and are divided into three groups - Class 1A, 1B and 1C - according to the degree of the hazard. Liquids with flashpoints above 100� F are called combustible.
Keep in mind that DOT has its own definitions for these same terms.
Flammable liquids are commonly further divided into three classes
Class Flash Point Boiling Point Examples
IA Below 73�F Below 100 �F Ethyl Ether
IB Below 73 �F At or above 100 �F Acetone, Benzene, Toluene
IC At or above 73�F and Hydrazine and Styrene
Combustible liquids are similarly divided into three classes
Class Flash Point Example
II 100-139 �F Acetic acid, naptha and stoddard solvent
IIIA 140-199 �F Cyclohexanol, formic acid and nitrobenzene
IIIB 200 �F or above Formalin and picric acid
The flashpoint of a flammable liquid is the lowest temperature at which it can form an ignitable mixture with air and produce a flame when a source of ignition is present.
This page was updated on 22-Mar-2023