Chemicals stored the wrong way pose many issues ranging from small to large. Small leaks or crack in chemicals often become full blown spills.
Many chemicals are hazardous to humans through inhalation, skin exposure, or other instance.
Storing chemicals becomes more important in areas where children and pets are. A chemical spill in a safe container isn't a major problem. Chemical spills in the wrong environment often lead to disaster.
Exposure to hazardous chemicals causes skin irritation, difficulty breathing, and coughing fits.
You don't want to risk the health of yourself or your employees by not storing chemicals correctly. In this article, you will learn the top tips for hazardous chemical storage.
What You'll Need to Get Started
You'll want to have safety gloves before storing chemicals. Ensure the gloves meet the standards for handling chemicals. You will need gloves that have no exposed areas whatsoever.
It's important to have protective eye wear to prevent chemical splash back. No, standard eyeglasses aren't enough eye protection when working with chemicals.
Wearing an average pair of eyeglasses when handling chemicals is dangerous for two reasons. Standard glasses lack side protection and aren't made of chemical strength material.
You'll need to wear clothes that cover as much skin as possible while handling chemicals. There's a chance a few chemicals drops could come in contact with your clothing. You'll need to wear clothing that you don't mind damaging.
Being prepared is important when it comes to hazardous chemical storage. You can even use a safety checklist for storing chemicals or create your own.
Breaking tasks into small steps makes projects more manageable. Once you are wearing all safety items, you can start taking inventory.
It's Time to Take Inventory
Hazardous chemical storage should begin with taking inventory. You'll want to take note of what chemicals you have and their quantities.
Check all chemicals for any signs of leaks, holes, or general defects. A small container leak, especially for a corrosive chemical can grow out of hand.
Do not use any storage item that is not the original chemical container. Using blank containers could mean using the wrong chemical. You never want to assume you know what a chemical is without proof.
It's best to throw out anything without a label or identifying information. You'll want to ensure you use the right chemical disposal container.
Many chemicals must use certain methods for their disposal. Corrosive chemicals are most likely going to erode a standard trash can. The last thing you want is trash and chemicals leaking onto a surface.
Sorting is an Important Part of Hazardous Chemical Storage
It's time to begin sorting the chemicals you have. You should now have chemicals only in their original containers.
Don't forget to touch up any original labels that are fading. Avoid using a sharper writing device on pressurized containers.
You'll find chemicals have certain elements they shouldn't be around. It's common to see flammable, corrosive, and other kinds of chemicals during the sorting stage.
Pair each chemical with the category they best fit into. You don't want to have flammable and corrosive chemicals grouped together. Flammable chemicals should be stored away from any open flames.
Having chemicals sorted works well for inventory management. It's easy to manage stock issues when chemicals are well organized.
Keeping Chemicals Protected while Stored Away
It's not enough to have chemicals out of sight.
You'll want to have chemicals double protected from exposure. Double protection means placing a chemical container into a separate container.
You'll always want to keep chemicals away from sources of ventilation. Chemical fumes can sometimes make their way into a nearby air supply. Chemicals traveling through the air is dangerous for anyone nearby.
You'll want to have the right container for each type of chemical. Storing corrosive chemicals in a flimsy container is unsafe. Instead, use durable containers made to house each type of chemical you have.
Containers made for housing chemicals will be more durable than a standard container.
Type and Location of Shelving is Crucial
You will most likely store chemical containers on some form of shelving. Choosing the right shelf is a major aspect of proper hazardous chemical storage.
It's important you use sturdy shelving. You don't want wobbly shelves holding chemicals, keep shelving supported by a wall.
Shelves in the center of a room are more prone to falling over. One small shelf bump puts you and your employees in a dangerous situation. Spending a little more on sturdy shelving is better than risking a chemical leak.
You should never store chemicals above eye level. Store chemicals in a manner where no one has to reach above their head to get an item. Keeping chemicals at eye levels reduces the risk of both spills and falls.
Be Prepared for Emergency Situations
Staying prepared will help you avoid many chemical issues. It's wise to be prepared should a chemical emergency occur.
You won't always be there to track every chemical around the clock. One small leak sometimes becomes a major spill. You might not always need emergency supplies but it's safe to have them on site.
It's important to contain a chemical spill as fast as possible. You'll want to have chemical strength wipes to clean any surfaces. It's impossible to predict where a chemical will land once a spill occurs.
You'll want to ensure you take all measures to protect the eyes of your employees. Many businesses make use of specialized eye wash stations for their employees.
It is important that you follow these hazardous chemical storage tips. It's wise to inspect all chemical storage areas every six months to one year.
Chemicals stored in a secure manner create a safe workplace. Keep you and your employees safe by following the previously mentioned tips.