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Subchapter 7. General Industry Safety Orders
Group 20. Flammable Liquids, Gases and Vapors
Article 135. General

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§5417. Flammable Liquids--General.

(a) All containers, either open or closed, which contain a flammable liquid shall be plainly marked with an appropriate warning legend or painted a distinctive color or otherwise distinguished from containers which contain nonflammable substances, except that:

(1) Where there are a number of fixed or permanent containers which usually contain flammable liquids, warning signs may be posted in the room or area in which such containers are located instead of marking individual containers; however, portable containers in which flammable liquids are used, stored, or transported, shall be marked in one of the manners described above unless such containers are used under controlled conditions that reduce the possibility of confusion to a minimum. Nonflammable liquids should not be placed in such containers.

(2) Original containers marked as required by the General Industry Safety Orders, Section 5194, shall be considered to comply with the requirements of this section. Containers such as drums, bottles, or carboys, in which flammable liquids are placed for sale, distribution, or shipment need not be marked during the time between filling and labeling.

(b) Flammable liquids shall not be used to wash floors, walls, ceilings, structural members, furniture, equipment, machines or machine parts, unless ventilation is provided and maintained in accordance with Section 5143.

NOTE: For the prohibitions of Class 1A Liquids, See Section 5417(d).

(c) Spraying of flammable liquids for cleaning purposes shall be forbidden except when performed as follows:

(1) In a booth equipped with adequate ventilation. See Section 5153.

(2) Outdoors, or in open sheds, with no source of ignition within 25 feet of the spraying operation.

(d) Class IA flammable liquids shall not be used for washing except that two quarts or less may be so used in an enclosed booth provided adequate ventilation is maintained and all sources of ignition are excluded from locations where concentrations of vapors of such liquids may reasonably be expected to exceed 25 percent of lower explosive limit.

(e) Flammable liquids shall be kept in covered containers when not actually in use, being processed or compounded, or shall be stored in permanent storage tanks. Such liquids shall not be transported from storage areas to areas of use in open containers. Containers used to transport flammable liquids or as dispensing devices shall be covered containers or original closed containers. Closures of such containers shall be kept in place at all times except when liquid is being drawn from the container.

(f) Tubular gauges on stationary tanks, vats, or containers which contain flammable liquids shall be shielded to prevent liquid spray from endangering employees should the gauge break. All such gauges shall be guarded when exposed to the hazards of being broken by accidental impact and in all cases when located less than 7 feet above or 3 feet laterally from working levels or passageways. All such gauges shall be provided with valves which can be readily closed in case of breakage. Where practicable, ball-check or other self-closing valves shall be used.

NOTE: Authority cited: Section 142.3, Labor Code. Reference: Section 142.3, Labor Code.


1. New subsection (f) filed 3-2-76; effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 76, No. 10).

2. Amendment of subsections (d) and (e) filed 11-18-76; effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 76, No. 47).

3. Amendment of subsections (b) and (d) filed 7-13-78; effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 78, No. 28).

4. Amendment of subsection (b) filed 9-6-79 as procedural and organizational; effective upon filing (Register 79, No. 36).

5. Amendment of subsections (b), (d) and (e) filed 12-5-86; effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 86, No. 51).

6. Amendment of subsection (a)(2) filed 9-4-97; operative 10-4-97 (Register 97, No. 36).

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