Most manufacturing or industrial plants utilize hazardous drum storage to contain a variety of different chemicals used in production processes. Chemicals are essential to the success in most businesses, whether they are used for manufacturing products or cleaning equipment.
Although chemicals are mandatory in many industries, the hazardous nature of certain chemicals, as well as the use of proper skin protection, must be addressed before chemicals can be handled or stored onsite.
Understanding the risks of hazardous drum storage and having the ability to take steps to minimize the risks to workers is essential to a safe work environment.
Hazardous Drum Storage – Identifying Risks
When storing hazardous drums, it is necessary to identify the potential risks associated with each type of chemical. Prior to storing chemical drums, analyze labels on each container as well as Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for each chemical. Hazard labels and Material Safety Data Sheets will provide a clear explanation of the type of hazard associated with each chemical.
Check out our chemical storage guide to learn more about chemical hazards.
The most common injury that occurs from chemical spills or leaks is when unprotected skin is exposed to the chemical; liquid or gas form. Even a small amount of chemical coming in contact with exposed skin can cause severe damage. It is necessary that workers take proper precautions when handling, transporting or storing hazardous drums.
Employees who are working directly with chemicals or even in the general vicinity where chemicals are being stored, must be prepped for emergency situations. Workers that are handling hazardous chemicals must wear personal protective equipment including gloves, aprons, face shields and protective shoes. Personal protective equipment can be broken down into four levels of protection; A, B, C and D.
Personal Protective Equipment
Level A protection is required when hazardous chemical exposure is at its greatest. Level A is the highest level of protection which includes a vapor tight chemical resistant suit, eye protection, disposable chemical resistant gloves and boots, and a full face-piece, self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA).
Level B protection should be used when the atmosphere contains less than 19.5% oxygen. This category requires a high level of respiratory protection including a self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) as well as a face shield, chemical resistant clothing, gloves and shoes.
Level C protection should be used when contaminants and airborne substances are identified and the criteria for using respiratory systems are met. Level C equipment typically includes full-face purifying respirators, disposable chemical-resistant outer boots, and chemical resistant gloves.
Level D protection is the lowest level of protection, which involves emergency escape respiratory protection and minimum body protection. Typical body protection includes gloves, safety glasses, face shield and chemical resistant shoes.
Skin exposure to chemicals must be taken very seriously. If a worker comes in contact with a small amount of chemical liquid, they should still seek medical attention to ensure the chemical does not cause any symptoms in the future.
Hazardous Drum Storage – Outdoor Storage Locker
When storing bulk hazardous drums, incompatible materials may be present. To avoid any chemical reactions, ensure incompatible materials are segregated. When incompatible materials are stored inside an outdoor storage locker, be sure to separate storage areas with solid partition wall(s) to eliminate any hazardous situations as well as racking systems to increase chemical organization.
Hazardous drum storage lockers can be customized with drum racks, pallet and tote racks or push back racking to increase organization and create operational efficiencies.
To learn more about hazardous drum storage visit US Chemical Storage online or call 888-294-2729 for a free chemical storage consultation.