Flammable chemicals are a common presence in various workplace environments, and the safe storage of these materials is of paramount importance to prevent accidents and environmental damage. In this article, we will delve into the factors that determine which chemicals should be stored in dangerous goods storage such as flammable cabinets.
Assessing Which Chemicals to Store in Flammable Cabinets
Many businesses, especially those operating in warehouse settings, handle flammable chemicals such as Class 3 flammable liquids. These substances require special handling and containment measures to protect both the workplace and the surrounding environment from potential spills and hazards.
For their safeguarding, it's important to use the right flammable storage cabinets and similar containment equipment. Before purchasing this type of equipment, it's vital to conduct a comprehensive risk assessment of which liquids need to be stored and in what way. To do so, you need to evaluate these two factors:
Begin by evaluating the potential health risks associated with exposure to a particular chemical. For example, does it pose a burn risk if it comes in contact with skin and eyes, or does it carry a risk of respiratory problems if inhaled, or poisoning risk if ingested? Ensure that safety directions, warning labels, and personal protective equipment (PPE) are provided to mitigate these risks.
The flashpoint of a chemical is a crucial parameter that determines its flammability. It represents the lowest temperature at which a chemical can ignite when in contact with air. Understanding the flashpoint of the chemicals you're dealing with is essential to gauge the potential for ignition or explosions during a spill or leak, and it guides the selection of appropriate flammable cabinets and other containment systems.
Flammable liquids have a flashpoint under 93°C, making them susceptible to ignition. Some may even produce ignitable vapours at normal ambient temperatures. Examples include petrol, acetone, alcohol, and sanitisers.
While oil may resemble a flammable liquid, it has a higher flashpoint, categorising it as a combustible liquid, subject to similar storage standards as flammable liquids.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Proper Storage for Flammable Chemicals
Chemical Profile and Handling Requirements
Assess the handling requirements for the chemicals in question. Different chemicals have varying corrosive or reactive properties, necessitating specific flammable cabinets and safety measures and PPE for employees.
Liquid or Chemical Quantity, Weight, and Volume
The dangerous goods storage used should not only withstand the corrosive or reactive nature of the chemicals but also support their weight, quantity, and volume. The requirements for storing a small jerry can differ significantly from those for a bulk tank.
Duration of Storage
Consider how long you need to store hazardous chemicals. Durable containment systems are needed for long-term storage.
Is your job site, or the surrounding environment prone to risks such as storms, flooding, heat, cold, and traffic? Is it close to protected areas such as waterways and wildlife? Take this into account when choosing equipment used to store flammable chemicals. Also, don't forget to consider adjacent properties and their activities.
Regardless of the containment system used, all chemicals have inherent weaknesses. While high-quality flammable cabinets dramatically reduce the risks of something going wrong, accidents can happen. Understand the risks associated with container failures, such as collisions or improper storage of incompatible chemicals and ensure that your containers can withstand all possible emergencies.
Differentiating Flammable Liquid and Gas Storage
Flammable liquid and gas storage have distinct compliance requirements. Class 3flammable liquids for indoor storage necessitate double-skinned cabinets with self-closing doors and bunded spill containment sumps for indoor storage.
On the other hand, flammable gases require ventilation, typically achieved through gas cylinder storage options such as perforated sheet metal cabinets or mesh cages. It's essential not to store flammable gas in flammable liquid storage cabinets to maintain compliance.
The Importance of Complying with Australian Standards
Compliance with Australian Standards is essential for the storage of flammable liquids in the workplace. Regulatory departments like the EPA, Worksafe, Workcover, and insurance providers enforce these standards.
Flammable storage cabinets play a crucial role in isolating the risk of flammable liquids during a fire, aiding in evacuation and helping the fire department identify high-risk areas.
Why Non-compliant Storage Is Dangerous
Storing flammable items in non-compliant cabinets or on standard shelving poses serious risks. It can lead to leakage, the introduction of ignition sources, and the inadvertent mixing of incompatible chemicals, all of which can result in explosions. Using compliant storage cabinets enhances safety, reduces risks, and improves your facility's professional appeal to potential staff and customers.
Containit Solutions: Your Provider of Premium Containment Systems
It's crucial to consult an expert team specialising in compliant storage systems. Relying on advice from individuals outside the industry may lead to purchasing an inappropriate system, potentially resulting in non-compliance and safety risks.
Containit Solutions offers a wide range of premium containment systems for Class 3 Flammable Liquids. These solutions include ICB bunds, ICB bund pallets, dangerous goods storage cabinets, battery transport boxes, drum systems, segregation boxes, fuel storage cubes, and more.
Consult with our expert team to determine the best solution, taking into account local regulations and insurance requirements. To order one of our premium products today, simply request a quote online or call 1300 794 836 to receive detailed product information.