OSHA Safety Manuals | combustible
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Wood Dust – It’s Not Just a Nuisance The wood dust created by cutting, shaping, and sanding wood is certainly a nuisance. However, wood dust can be a serious hazard to both health and safety if not properly controlled. Respiratory effects are the primary health concern. Inhalation of excessive dust can cause nasal irritation and bleeding, inflammation of the sinuses, wheezing, prolonged colds, and decreased lung function. Some species of wood are sensitizers: after repeated exposure, one can become allergic to the dust. This frequently leads to the development of asthma. Western red cedar is a well-known sensitizer and asthmagen. Skin and eye...

Safe Storage and Disposal of Oil- or Solvent-Soaked Rags Oil and solvent-soaked rags must be stored and disposed of properly to prevent combustion fires. It is important to maintain proper fire extinguishing equipment and smoke detectors in all areas where flammable and combustible materials are being used and stored. Oil-soaked rags are a spontaneous combustion hazard because as the oil oxidizes, heat is released. If the heat is not dissipated, it can build up and ignite the rags. Special oily-waste cans should be used to store oil-soaked rags. These containers allow air to flow around the rags, thus dissipating the heat. The...