Is your chemical storage facility in danger? If you’re not storing hazardous chemicals correctly, it might be.
Many businesses depend on chemicals for research, product development, and testing. But, if they aren’t looked after properly, they can cause risk to employee health. Or, they can cause dangerous accidents or reactions.
Is your company doing the best it can to avoid accidents? To find out, read on for our brief guide to safely and simply storing dangerous chemicals.
Ensure Hazardous Chemicals Are Labeled
All types of chemicals being stored should be clearly labeled. This should include their name, special storage instructions, and hazard warnings. This way, anyone who walks into the lab knows exactly what they are in contact with, for their own safety.
So many chemicals have similar-sounding names, and handwriting can be messy. Avoid errors by printing labels rather than writing it out.
If you’re ever in doubt about how to store a chemical, contact the maker for advice, such as polyvinyl alcohol suppliers.
Make Sure Your Storage Space is Appropriate
Any chemical storage facility should be well-ventilated, allowing for enough airflow. The room should also be kept at a constant temperature so that the chemicals don’t become too hot or cold, which can affect their volatility.
Your storage facility should also be large enough to provide ample shelf space for each product. Try not to cram too many chemicals into one place.
Chemicals are best stored at or near eye-height, but shouldn’t be stored too high or on the floor. Anything left on the floor, especially in glass containers, can easily be kicked and broken by accident.
This makes it too risky to use the ground for chemical storage.
Incompatible chemicals should be stored away from one another, in case of any breakages or spills. Similar chemicals can be stored together.
Have Personal Protective Equipment Available
Your chemical storage facility should include PPE, or personal protective equipment, for staff to use when handling chemicals. Depending on your chemicals, your PPE may include masks, gloves, and a chemical-resistant suit to wear over clothes.
If storing acids, which could burn skin, you should also have an emergency shower and eyewash in case of spills or accidents.
Use a Separate Cabinet for Poison Chemicals
Any chemicals which are especially poison or dangerous should be kept, under lock and key, in a separate storage container.
This provides an extra barrier to stop anyone from accessing these chemicals by mistake. Consider only giving the key to this cabinet to trusted staff who need to access these products.
Or, require them to be signed on by management on an as-needed basis.
Protect Your Workplace Today
Hazardous chemicals are an important part of many labs and workplaces, but they pose serious risks if not stored correctly.
Now that you know more about how to store chemicals, review your company’s storage procedures and make any changes as needed. This ensures you and your staff can continue to work safely and without workplace accidents.