Hazardous Materials Storage and Handling
Even chemicals that are considered to be benign can potentially still be hazardous in the right circumstances. Climate control, proper inventory procedures and storage guidelines are critical to prevent uncontrolled chemical reactions, hazmat spills and minimize worker exposures. Learn more about regulatory considerations, and safe storage guidelines in the article below.
When storing chemicals, institutions including the EPA, OSHA and NFPA address certain regulations that must be met to meet compliance standards. See below for a list of regulatory considerations addressed by OSHA.
Storage of flammable liquids (29 CFR 1910.106);
Compressed gas storage (29 CFR 1910). This standard incorporates by reference, Compressed Gas Association Pamphlets C-6 1968 and C-8 1962; and Communicating chemical hazards under the Laboratory Standard (29 CFR 1910.1450) and the Hazard Communication Standard (29 CFR 1910.1200).
Most states address hazardous material storage through building codes which can incorporate NFPA Codes, BOCA Codes and UBC Codes. When storing chemicals in a hazmat storage locker, be sure to check with local officials and your local Fire Marshall to ensure all regulations are met.
Hazmat Storage Locker and Best Inventory Practices
There are a number of standard procedures to follow when storing hazardous materials in a hazmat storage locker. Follow the procedures outlined below to help remain compliant when storing chemicals.
- Maintain hazmat storage locker temperature per manufacturer requirements.
- Ensure all containers, drums, totes are labeled with proper signage before storing.
- Segregate incompatible materials in separate hazmat storage lockers or with partition walls.
- Chemicals should not be stored in walkways or exit-ways or anywhere on the floor.
- Chemicals should be segregated according to chemical class and compatibility first. (Ex. acids should be kept separate from bases, oxidizers from organics, and cyanides from acids, etc.)
- Containers must be closed when not in use.
- Equip each hazmat storage locker with accessories for each type of chemical being stored, including fire suppression, mechanical ventilation, lighting, etc.
Additional requirements apply to flammable and combustible liquids. These materials must be stored in accordance with NFPA regulations, including NFPA 30, NFPA 45 and NFPA 1.
Contact US Chemical Storage online for a free chemical storage consultation or call 1-800-233-1480.