Safety & Handling
The properties of sulfuric acid dictate the design, fabrication and operation of storage facilities, as well as how sulfuric acid is handled. Its corrosive, reactive nature, strong affinity for water and high specific gravity are three major considerations. Before the construction of a storage or handling system, advice must be obtained from a competent engineering department or consultant and codes and regulations must be recognized.
At each point where sulfuric acid is handled, there must be ready access to safety showers and eye wash stations. There must be a minimum of 15 minutes of warm water at a high enough volume to drench the user. Stations must be equipped with an automatic alarm system designed to summon help from adjacent areas. Safety showers must be supplied with 25 to 33 degree C (78 to 92 degree F) tepid water and have a minimum flow rate of 20 USGPM, be within a 10 second unobstructed walk on the same level as the hazard and be "weatherized" (freeze protected) to meet OSHA standards.
The safe handling of sulfuric acid from tank trucks and tank cars by the application of air pressure or by gravity requires careful attention to proper procedures and should be conducted by trained personnel wearing proper protective clothing.
Smoking or other sources of ignition should not be permitted near tank cars or trucks, whether full or empty. Tank cars and trucks should be accurately spotted at the unloading line. For safety reasons, it is recommended that at least two persons be present during unloading.