How to Store Hazardous Chemicals
Some of the important qualifications when hiring a third-party logistics for the storage of your hazardous chemicals are that it should be an ISO certified and has facilities that use state of the art methods in storing hazardous materials. This third party logistics provider should also work with the local fire departments in your area, the EPA and the OSHA that will ensure a provision of the needed safety and operational features in order to safely warehouse the chemicals of their customers. Furthermore, carriers like UPS and FedEx should certify your 3PL in carrying for small package of chemical for shipping in case you need to have to ship as such.
Wherever you will store quantities of your chemicals, it is advisable to follow some guidelines.
First is to date all chemicals received for inventory upon receipt. You should use older stock before the newer stocks. Inventory should be verified on the basis of yearly activity. Be reminded that other items in the warehouse are not to be mixed with the chemicals thus should be placed in separate and secure areas.
Be mindful not to store chemicals in fume hoods or work areas. In order to identify the hazardous nature of the products placed inside storage cabinets and storage areas, these should be labelled clearly. Also, make sure that products are properly labelled and identified before storing. The exact contents, hazardous properties, date of receipt and date of expiration should be shown on the labels.
Also, take note that flammable chemicals should never been placed in standard house refrigerators. Even if only on temporary basis, chemicals should never be stored directly on the floor. It is advisable also that you store chemicals at eye level because in this condition, the storage situation can be easily reviewed, and when problems like corrosion happened, you can immediately address the problem.
It is recommended that the shelving you will use in the storage area will be secured firmly to the walls and floors. To avoid bottles and other containers from falling, the shelves you are placing them should have a lip on all the sides. Note that wooden shelves are preferable than metal shelving since they are less effective heat conductors and are fit for general storage, while metal shelving are better to store flammable products to avoid risks of fire.
When affected by moisture, most chemicals can become more hazardous if these are stored below, above or near water source like sink. It is also advisable that the storage areas of the chemicals are to be located far away from heavily travelled areas of the establishment’s premise.
All storage cabinets or closets are to be locked without fail when not being used. Storing in a cool and dry place is the general rule when chemicals are to be stored.
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