If you work with chemicals, you’re probably well aware of the hazards associated with their use. You’re likely familiar with how to safely work with chemicals, but how should chemicals be stored? Chemical storage is an important part of safe chemical handling. Knowing how to store chemicals safely will help protect the environment and employees who work in areas where chemicals are contained and used.
Safe Chemical Storage Begins With Building Safety
Ensuring your building is properly equipped against potential dangers can help prevent serious damage. The following are some guidelines to help protect against fires, fumes, and other risk associated with chemical storage:
- Buildings should be constructed and furnished with non-combustible materials.
- Ensure your building is constructed where there isn’t a high risk of flooding.
- Allow only authorized personnel into chemical storage facilities.
- Install and regularly check fire and smoke detectors.
- Ensure your building has enough exits and clear escape routes in case of a fire or other disaster.
- It should be easy for any emergency responders to access the building in case of an emergency.
- Make sure the building is properly ventilated to prevent the build up of hazardous fumes.
- Provide proper lighting in your building so all chemical labels can be clearly read.
- Have adequate air conditioning and/or heating to prevent any temperature extremes that could damage containers or product and lead to leaks or fires. Correct storage temperatures for each chemical can be found on the SDS (safety data sheet) provided by the manufacturer.
- Make sure your building provides enough space for safe chemical storage. There should be an area designated where chemicals can be stored and/or transferred from one container to another. This area should be separate and a safe distance from any other work areas.
Labeling Storage Containers
It’s crucial that personnel who handle or work near chemicals be familiar with the risks they pose. All chemical containers should clearly indicate any hazards with appropriate safety signs.
Protecting Against Leaks and Spills
Knowing how to prevent leaks and spills and how to properly deal with them can prevent more serious accidents from occurring.
- Have proper absorbents on hand in case of spills or leaks.
- Place drip pans under drum faucets and any leaks.
- Make sure shelves are securely installed and do not exceed the maximum load on any storage racks or shelves.
- Have larger containers available to contain damaged or leaking chemical packaging. Make sure your secondary storage has equal or greater structural integrity than the package being stored. Damaged packages should them be shipped for repackaging or disposal.
Chemical Temperature Control
As mentioned above, storing at proper temperatures is an important part of chemical safety. Correct temperatures will help prevent fires and container damage and leaks. Additionally, proper temperatures help chemicals perform correctly. Chemical Heating Systems provide temperature control for chemical storage without creating hot spots. They can be used in a wide range of environments and are UL/CSA certified. If you’re looking to increase the safety and efficiency of your chemical storage, Powerblanket products might be just what you need!