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Subchapter 7. General Industry Safety Orders
Group 16. Control of Hazardous Substances
Article 109. Hazardous Substances and Processes
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§5187. Nitrocellulose.

NOTE: This section refers to the use of bulk nitrocellulose or scrap nitrocellulose film for the manufacture of lacquer or other similar products. This material is not as highly nitrated as guncotton and is usually shipped wet with alcohol, other organic liquids or water.

(a) Buildings and Equipment.

(1) All buildings or rooms having more than 100 square feet of area or where the maximum possible distance to the exit exceeds 12 feet in which nitrocellulose is stored, processed, or handled shall have at least two exits, remote from each other and so arranged that there are no dead ends where a person might be trapped. Access to such exits shall not be blocked or impeded.

(2) Nitrocellulose shall not be stored or processed in a basement.

(3) All rooms wherein nitrocellulose is stored, handled or processed shall be cleaned as often as necessary to prevent accumulation of nitrocellulose on floors, ledges, beams, equipment, machines, or elsewhere. Floors shall be free of cracks where nitrocellulose might accumulate.

(4) Mechanical equipment, including pulleys and shafting shall be of metal and shall be electrically grounded. (See Electrical Safety Orders for regulations governing electrical installation.)

(b) Storage.

(1) Nitrocellulose shall be stored in a location remote from mixing and processing operations, preferably in a separate fireproof building. Out-door storage is not recommended but may be permitted, subject to local fire inspection, provided that the location is reasonably well isolated and not exposed to flame, sparks, or combustible material. Containers shall not be exposed to direct sunlight or stored near steam coils or other sources of heat. Rooms or buildings used for storage shall be heated indirectly so that no source of ignition will be present from this source. In heated buildings, the distance between containers and heating units shall be such as to prevent the metal of the container from rising above the temperature of the room itself, and heaters shall be so arranged that drums cannot, under any circumstances, come in contact with them.

(2) Nitrocellulose in storage shall be kept wet with solvent or water. All containers shall be inspected before being put in storage, and frequent inspection of drums in storage shall be made; if any are found on which closures are not tight, solvent or water shall be added if necessary and closure shall be tightened.

(3) Containers of nitrocellulose shall not be opened in a storage building.

(c) Handling.

(1) Nonferrous tools and equipment shall be used to open and handle drums of nitrocellulose, and where nitrocellulose is present in open containers. Trucks used to carry nitrocellulose shall have non-ferrous wheels. Rubber-tired wheels, unless conductive rubber is used, are not recommended on account of the static hazard.

(2) Operations shall be arranged so that nitrocellulose does not have an opportunity to dry out. All full or partially full barrels or drums shall be kept tightly covered when not in use.

(3) All open containers in which nitrocellulose or nitrocellulose lacquers are handled or processed shall be electrically grounded. When such materials are transferred from one container to another, the containers shall be bonded electrically before the transferring is started.

(4) Empty barrels shall be wiped clean (rags wet with water or solvent may be used) and closed as soon as emptied.

(d) General.

(1) Quick-acting deluge showers and fire blankets shall be provided and all employees shall be informed of their location and how to use them.

(2) Employees shall not wear clothing which has an accumulation of flammable material on it.

(3) Rags, refuse, sweepings, and other waste shall be kept in covered containers, wet down with water, and disposed of at least once a day by burning in a safe location.

(4) Matches, cigarette lighters, and other similar sources of ignition shall be prohibited in any room in which nitrocellulose is used, handled or stored. (Title 24, T8-5202(a))

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


1. Amendment filed 7-16-76; effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 76, No. 29).

2. Amendment filed 9-3-76; effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 76, No. 36).

3. Amendment filed 7-13-78; effective thirtieth day thereafter (Register 76, No. 28).

4. Renumbering and amendment of Section 5202 to Section 5187 filed 12-10-87; operative 1-9-88 (Register 87, No. 51).

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