Back on March 4, 2016 a contractor/truck driver was transferring "diesel fuel" of some type from a storage tank to his truck when there was a flash fire. He received 2nd and 3rd degree burns over 50% of his body and has since passed away from his injuries. When I saw this incident in my Incident Alerts I was very curious as to how diesel fuel could be involved in a flash fire due to its HIGH flash point (~140F depending on grade of fuel). But as stated by the Asst. Chief of the responding FD, the material he was transferring was not all diesel and the solution had some flammable liquid mixed in...
Process or storage vessels and pipe systems that contain ignitable ranges of oxygen and flammable vapors are susceptible to catastrophic explosions. If the oxygen and vapor mixture is ignited by sparks, arcs, friction, compression or other heat sources, the expanding flame front may cause significant injuries and damage. One method of lessening the likelihood of a flash fire is by the installation of a flame arrestor in the equipment or on the end of a vent or process line. Flame arrestors are used in many industries, including refining, oil exploration and production, pharmaceutical, chemical, petrochemical, pulp and paper, sewage treatment, landfills, mining, power generation, and bulk liquids transportation.
Yes, OSHA has rules for the use of flammable liquids in areas that are not designed as a Hazardous Location. OSHA covers Hazardous Locations in 1910.307, but those areas that do not rise to the level of being a Hazardous Location fall under 1910.334(d) which states:
This is an excellent photo that shows what happens when a FLAMMABLE LIQUIDS ATMOPSHERIC STORAGE tank does not have proper or adequate emergency venting. As we can see in this photo (Source: AP) the tank is still in tank, but with a large hole (e.g. new vent!). This tank was estimated to have reached the height of 60' and landed approximately 75 yards from its foundation. Ignition was a lighting strike.