Chemical storage Laws!

What are the Laws regarding the safe storage of flammables?

The storage of chemicals, flammable substances and gases is the subject of many regulations. Some substances must be stored outside away from buildings. Other substances can be stored inside, but are sometimes subject to quantity limits. We would recommend that you should always seek the advice of the Health and Safety Inspectorate, your local Fire Officer, Trading Standards Office or any other qualified body.

The aim is to provide a store which is resistant to fire, capable of retaining leakage/spillage, dry, adequately ventilated and secure against unauthorised access.

As well as providing a safe storage area for the goods, it is also just as important to ensure that they are secured away from unauthorised access. It is therefore necessary that a good locking system is used and also adequate steel construction. The materials used need to be those which will resist fire for 30 minutes or longer.

Containment facilities should have sufficient capacity to contain at least 25% of the total volume stored, or 110% of the largest container, whichever is the greater. (For agrochemicals, the containment should be proportionate to the risk, with the capacity being minimum of 110% of the total volume stored.)

Good ventilation is essential with any storage container for chemicals or flammables. This ensures that any vapours/odours given off will be rapidly dispersed, rather than escape when the lid/door is opened. Ventilation should be both at high and low level.

It is important that the correct signage is used for the type of goods stored. In the case of an emergency, this then gives the fire brigade an indication as to what is being stored.

It is important never to store different categories of hazardous substances in the same unit without first checking with the manufacturer or an HSE officer.

It is highly recommended that a spill kit is kept near or within the storage unit. This will ensure, that in the event of an emergency, everything is at hand to deal with it as quickly as possible

Never carry flammables or chemicals in the cabs of vehicles. If you need to transport from one site to another, always ensure that they are secured in a ventilated lockable container that will contain any spillages. Never leave any liquids in the container for long periods of time – always transfer back to general storage unit as soon as possible. Ensure to lock when unattended.