Guide for Storage of Hazardous Substances

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					               GUIDE FOR STORAGE OF HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES                                            Page 1 of 4

This document provides guidance on the safe storage of hazardous substances in conjunction with
the Hazardous Substances and Dangerous Goods Management procedure.

The information supplied in this document is aimed at all Company staff but will be of most benefit to
research, laboratory, stores and cleaning staff.

Storage of Hazardous substances poses many different risks in particular with the storage of different
classes of substances together. There needs to be sufficient distances between them to eliminate the
risk of fire, explosion, or accumulation of toxic gases or vapours from a leak or spillage, etc. A full risk
assessment needs to be conducted to ensure the safety of all personnel is not put at risk by the
incorrect storage of substances.

The risk increases with the quantity of dangerous goods being stored. Initially it needs to be
established whether only minor quantities of substance are being stored

1.        Minor Storage
There will exist circumstances where quantities below a certain level are so small or scattered that
they are of little risk or, if flammable, do not significantly contribute to a building’s fire load. In addition
to this they will not impede the activities of the emergency personnel. The requirements for storage of
smaller quantities are not as rigorous. The aim is to minimize quantities wherever reasonably

The following table is from Safety in Laboratories (Storage of Chemicals).
If you are storing more than the quantities listed below for any of the dangerous goods classes then you
are storing more than minor storage quantities for that class.

             Class              Max per 50m2              Max. Container Size             Where to store?
 Class 3                  10L                        5                            Labelled laboratory
 Class 4.1, 4.2, 4.4,     10 L or Kg                 10                           Labelled laboratory
 5.1 1, 5.2                                                                       cupboard

 Class 6.1                PG I 10L or kg             PG I -10L or kg              Labelled laboratory
                          Other 50 L or Kg           Other 20 L or Kg             cupboard

 Class 8                  Liquids 20L                20 L or Kg                   Labelled laboratory
                          Solids 50 Kg                                            cupboard

 Hazardous                200 L or Kg                Liquids – 5L                 Labelled laboratory
 Substances                                          Solids – 20Kg                cupboard

2.     General Requirements for the storage of all Dangerous Goods
The area where dangerous goods are stored should be:
      well ventilated and lit
      separated from ignition sources.
      secured from the public (including workers)
      protected from temperature fluctuations and direct sunlight
      shelving/cupboards should:

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            o   be constructed of chemically resistant materials
            o   provide a lip at the front of the shelf.

For liquid dangerous goods stored outside of a chemical storage cabinet secondary containment (eg.
spill trays) should be considered.

Dedicated areas should be provided for measuring out chemicals.

3.      Segregation of Chemicals
Appendix 1 outlines a general indication of the compatibility of dangerous goods by class. In general,
each class of dangerous goods should be segregated.
More detailed information is available from the MSDS and the list of commonly incompatible
chemicals in Appendix 1.

The risks involved in the interaction of incompatible substances can include:
       uncontrolled release of heat
       emission of noxious fumes
       precipitation of unstable solids leading to an explosion.

4.       Security
As part of the risk assessment the level of security required for storage of substances should be
        ensure all storage areas are signed with relevant signage
        all designated areas should be secured at all times
        Dangerous Goods manifests are to be maintained and readily available

5.      Shelf Storage

In general, hazardous chemicals should be stored in chemical storage cabinets or laboratory
cupboards. Where chemicals are kept on shelves or racks they are subject to the following
         shelving must be compatible with the goods stored;
         shelving systems must be designed for the maximum holding capacity of the chemical
         incompatible chemicals should not be stored together on shelves; a distance of 3m between
          them is recommended and the space between can be used to store non-hazardous
         solid chemicals should preferably be stored on upper shelves above liquid chemicals;
         secondary containment is essential for large containers (eg. the 20 litre waste cubes). It is
          advisable to bund any container of 2.5 L and above capacity. All dangerous goods of this size
          must be bunded.
         the most dangerous chemicals should be stored at easily accessible heights (eg. 1.5 m from
          the floor)
         chemicals should not be stored in direct sunlight.
         where refrigerated storage is required domestic refrigerators are not to be used. [Options
          include intrinsically safe refrigerators or domestic refrigerators that have been made
          electrically safe by a licensed electrician]

6.      Storage in Cabinets
Each chemical storage cabinet must have a designated person responsible for its management. Their
duties would include ensuring that:
       appropriate emergency spill measures are in place;
       emergency first aid is accessible

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         a risk assessment is completed for the storage of dangerous goods for this storage location
         disposal of substances no longer required is to occur regularly and at least on an annual

7.      Placarding
Placarding is required for quantities above the limits in the table;

Dangerous Goods                           Packing Group                    Quantity
Class 2.1                           n/a
Class 2.2/5.1                       n/a
Class 2.2                           n/a
Class 2.3                           n/a                                1
Class 3, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 5.1, 5.2,   Packing Group I                    50
6 and 8                             Packing Group II                   250
                                    Packing Group III                  1000
Mixed packing groups in any                                            1000 L/Kg
of the above classes where
the packing group limit is not

8.        Chemical spills
It is important that staff are trained in the management of chemical spills and that the procedures are
tested. See the procedure for Chemical Spill Management

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                                                                                     Appendix 1.
Indication of Substance Compatibility Dependant on Class

 Class                      2.1    2.2   2.3   3   4.1   4.2   4.3   5.1   5.2   6.1   8    9
 2.1 Flammable gas                                      X           X     X

 2.2 Non flammable                 
     /non toxic gas
 2.3 Toxic Gas                           

 3 Flammable liquid                                     X           X     X

 4.1 Flammable Solid                                    X           X     X

 4.2 Spontaneously          X                                       X     X
 4.3 Dangerous When                                                 X     X           X
 5.1 Oxidizing Agent        X                  X   X     X           

 5.2 Organic Peroxide       X                  X   X     X     X     X           X

 6.1 Toxic                                                                       

 8 Corrosive                                                   X     X     X           

 9 Miscellaneous DG’s                                                                       

                      Compatible                                     

                      Not generally compatible – require all         X
                      risks controlled
                      Usually non reactive- in emergency
                      increased risk – additional controls
                      Usually non reactive - fire may lead to
                      release of toxic gasses or vapours
                      Additional risk factors – more information

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