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The Quick Guide to Colors on Safety Cans

Marcus Williams - Friday, June 03, 2016

Many workplaces require the use of different amounts, concentrations, and types of dangerous liquids. While the standards set by safety organizations may allow some amount of leeway in labeling and storing hazardous materials, it is neglectful to allow your workers to operate with ambiguous labeling.

The OSHA may not have one exclusively accepted system, but the use of colors is widely accepted for the storage of various hazardous materials. The easiest way to make sure the workplace is a safe one with no mistakes and accidents is to introduce a color system to your storage. Consider the widely used four color identification system:

Red: Gasoline (Flammable

Red: Gasoline (Flammable) - View Gas Cans

Widely associated with danger and risk of flame, red metal galvanized cans are used to hold gasoline. Complying with OSHA and NFPA Code 30 requirements and equipped with no-weld bottoms and spark-proof flame arrestors, these Type-1 gas cans will ensure that there are no mistakes when handling any flammable liquid.

Blue: Kerosene (Flammable) - View Kerosene Cans

Kerosene (sometimes called Kerosine or Paraffin) is often stored in blue containers to set it apart from the more volatile and flammable materials like gasoline and diesel. Correspondingly, blue is a more calming color compared to red or yellow.

Yellow: Diesel (Flammable) - View Diesel Cans

To distinguish gasoline from diesel, the color yellow is used instead of red. Yellow gas cans serve as diesel fuel containers and meet the same governmental requirements. Distinguishing from gasoline with the yellow color allows easy recognition and less risk of fuel mixing.

Kerosene (sometimes called Kerosine or Paraffin) is often stored in blue containers to set it apart from the more volatile and flammable materials like gasoline and diesel. Correspondingly, blue is a more calming color compared to red or yellow.

Green: Oils (Combustible) - View Oil Cans

Any and all mixed fuel requiring specialized storage is for green containers. While limiting the possible color options of many mixes, due to the nonspecific nature of these containers it should be taught that any green canister requires further labeling and should be consulted before use. With this further specification, it will reduce any mistakes as green canisters will always require additional identification.

Polyethylene Canister Storage

Although metal gas canisters are the most common storage for dangerous liquids, some materials require non-metallic storage in specialized containers made for special liquids, corrosives, or chemical solvents. Often these are less common, so there are three color identifications for polyethylene canisters: white, red, and yellow.

All polyethylene canisters require further identification and labeling. That way if there are multiple liquids which require non-metal gas canisters, a further identification system can be put in place which observes similar guidelines to the metal containers four color system.

Why The Color Coding System Is Important

When this color system is put into place to differentiate dangerous liquids in storage, it will significantly reduce the number of accidents or mistakes in using the liquids. Beyond the use of quickly identifying the material and its nature, the color system also aids in the general safety of these materials. Storage and retrieval of specific materials will become easier and foreseeing any potential proximity issues will be readily apparent.

Furthermore, if there is a spill, the way to handle the material will be identified by the color of the container. Often times the colors of dangerous liquids are similar or identical and the materials may be too dangerous to identify by touch or smell. When there is a color system, it will expedite the identification and handling of all dangerous materials and avoid unnecessary risks when managing any mistakes involved with their handling.

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View Safety Storage Cabinets

Use The Color Coding System For Flammable Liquid Safety

Using the simple four color system along with further identification and optional polyethylene storage containers, you can easily and safely store dangerous liquids. Although there is a conventional system of identification, there is no legal requirement to provide a color system for rapid identification of hazardous materials. However, in order to promote a safe workplace, there is no reason not to implement a color system for the safety of your employees and business.