Storing incompatible chemicals closely together creates a risk of chemical reactions – such as fires, explosions and toxic release. Incompatible chemicals should always be stored at least 3 metres apart, or at least 5 metres apart if there is a risk of a violent reaction.
When segregating chemicals, acids should not be stored with bases, and oxidizers should not be stored with organic materials or reducing agents. Physical barriers and/or distance are effective for proper segregation.
The importance of correct storage and products
Prevents spills. Avoids spoiling. Separates incompatible substances avoiding chemical reactions i.e. fire, explosions, poisonous gases. Prevents contamination.
Keeping chemical storage records helps to prevent employees from inadvertently causing a chemical hazard by storing incompatible hazards together. Storing incompatible chemicals together may result in generation of heat, fumes, gases and vapours that can give rise to a fire or explosion.
If hazardous chemicals are not stored correctly, they can lead to contamination, fires, spills, gas releases, and toxic exposures. Information for storing any hazardous material can be found on its safety data sheet (SDS).
Improper storage practices can increase the risks associated with certain chemicals, particularly those that are flammable, corrosive, or reactive.
Poor or incorrect chemical storage practices can lead to inadvertent reactions between incompatible materials with the potential to cause harm, fire or even explosions.
You must ensure chemicals and dangerous substances are stored and handled in a way that minimises their risks and limits people's exposure to them. You can control risks by: storing chemicals according to the manufacturer's instructions. keeping the minimum quantity of hazardous substances necessary.
Without the proper procedures and hazardous spill management training to clean up a product it can have harmful effects on the individual, others in the vicinity and may cause harmful effects on the property or environment.
As part of COSHH regulations, you must store hazardous substances in a manner that minimises risk and limits exposure. This helps to ensure the protection, health and safety of people on-site and protects the environment.
Chemicals must be stored at an appropriate temperature and humidity level. This can be especially problematic in hot, humid climates. As a rule, chemicals should not be stored near heat sources, such as steam pipes or laboratory ovens. Chemical should never be stored in direct sunlight.
Segregate acids from bases
If acids and bases mix, it can result in violent neutralisation reactions. For example; if a strong acid such as hydrochloric acid mixed with a strong base such as sodium hypochlorite, it would result in a violent chemical reaction that would produce a lot of heat and gas.
Unfortunately, improper handling of toxic waste can release harmful chemicals into the air, ground water or soil, posing a serious threat to both the environment and any surrounding residences.
Chemicals must be separated when being stored to ensure that incompatible chemicals do not mix if there is a spill. Keep the outside of containers clean and the storage area tidy. Do not store liquids above solids to avoid contamination in the event of a leak. Always store corrosives on spill trays.
Chemicals should be stored no higher than eye level and never on the top shelf of a storage unit. Do not overcrowd shelves. Each shelf should have an anti-roll lip. Avoid storing chemicals on the floor (even temporarily) or extending into traffic aisles.
Helps Prevent Accidents
Having the correct equipment to lift, move, and store the materials in your warehouse will help reduce employee stress and effort, minimizing the injuries that take place in your warehouse.
You should always keep your tools clean, dry, and organized. Improper care can lead to decreased efficiency, diminished quality of work, and a host of other consequences that ultimately result in lost revenue.
When storing chemicals that are both hazardous and flammable, it's incredibly important that you minimize the risk of a fire, explosion, or spill. These chemicals should be stores in closed containers and kept separate from sources of ignition and other dangerous substances.
Improper storage means being exposed to extremes in temperature, humidity, smoke, fumes, pressure, or radiation due to a natural disaster, fire, accident, or equipment failure.
As many as a quarter of all chemical incidents occur because of incorrect storage, leading to reactions between substances. These incidents are easily preventable if safety and chemical segregation rules are carefully followed.
If you find that any container of a hazardous chemical with an incorrect label, attach a product identifier and store it in isolation until it can be correctly labeled.
Storage of office materials should be kept to a minimum so as not to increase the combustible fire fuel load. Keep storage organized and neatly arranged so that items can be easily retrieved when needed. Storage racks and shelves should be firmly secured to prevent them from falling over or collapsing.