Ask any facility or warehouse manager about their daily priorities and they will give you a long list of important responsibilities – material handling, equipment, inventory, shipping, distribution, maintenance, operations, personnel, and on and on. They will also likely tell you that none are more important than safety. Being responsible for the health and safety of dozens or hundreds of employees is a tall order, but fortunately there are resources available to help.
Aaron Blankenship, Facility Manager at Strong Hold
“When other people can bring it to your knowledge, it’s not just a benefit to you, it’s also possibly saving someone’s life.”
Agencies, governing bodies, and services like OSHA, NFPA, and FM Approvals can help guide your path to safety. While it might seem daunting, complying and working with these organizations is well worth the time. Aaron Blankenship, Plant Manager at Strong Hold, has been working with these agencies for a long time. “It can be scary to know that you’re responsible for someone’s safety, but not actually knowing all of the fine print and literature that is out there,” Aaron explained. “When other people can bring it to your knowledge, it’s not just a benefit to you, it’s also possibly saving someone’s life.”
What is OSHA?
OSHA, or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, is a government agency that is part of the U.S. Department of Labor. According to the website, OSHA’s mission is to “ensure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education, and assistance.” In 2018, OSHA conducted over 70,000 federal and State Plan inspections. Their work with employers, safety professionals, and advocates have helped reduce work-related deaths by 63% since 1970.
Here are a few resources provided by OSHA:
- Find an OSHA Office
- State Plans – programs operated by individual states
- Law and Regulations
- Help for Employers – includes frequently asked questions
- How to File a Safety and Health Complaint
- Training Requirements and Resources
What is NFPA and NFPA Code 30?
In the United States, a fire department responds to a fire every 24 seconds. The NFPA, or the National Fire Protection Association, is a codes and standards organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property, and economic loss from fires and other hazards. They cover a wide range of topics that keep facilities and personnel well-prepared in the case of an emergency. Some of the major areas of focus include detection and signaling, hazardous materials, electrical safety, fire suppression, storage commodities, and protective clothing and equipment.
NFPA Code 30 was developed by the NFPA and is currently enforced by OSHA to address safety measures related to flammable and combustible liquids. According to the NFPA and OSHA, a liquid is considered flammable if its flash point does not exceed 100°F, while a combustible liquid is one whose flash point is 100°F or higher. If a facility is storing things like diesel fuel, motor oil, kerosene, cleaning solvents, paints, aerosol spray cans, mineral oils, or other chemicals, NFPA Code 30 provides the guidelines for proper storage, handling, and use.
Here are a few resources provided by NFPA:
- Fire Data, Research, and Tools
- List of NFPA Codes & Standards
- Safety Tip Sheets
- NFPA Membership Information
What is FM Approvals?
FM Approvals is a third-party testing and certification service that was founded by FM Global, a mutual insurance company that specializes in loss prevention, in 1886. FM Approvals conducts tests in their state-of-the-art laboratories on products and services used in commercial and industrial spaces. Products that bare the FM APPROVED certification mark have undergone and passed rigorous testing, ensuring that they can withstand the elements and effectively limit the spread of fire.
Here are a few resources provided by FM Approvals:
- Products that FM Approvals Certifies
- Certification Process
- Approval Guide – information about every product tested by FM Approvals
- Apply for Certification
Three Birds, One Storage Cabinet
One way to ensure your facility is providing a safe work environment that reduces risk is to look for products that are certified by FM Approvals and meet OSHA and NFPA Code 30 standards. If you’re required to store flammable and combustible liquids, Strong Hold provides safety storage solutions that are intentionally designed to exceed those standards and last a lifetime. Our heavy-duty Flammable Safety Cabinet is all-welded and constructed from 14-gauge steel. It features heavy-duty doors with leaf hinges, 14-gauge galvanized shelves, forklift pockets, and an industry-leading warranty.