If you deal with any kind of chemical in your workplace at all, you are probably aware of some level of safety storage regulations. Whether your workspace deals with hazardous substances or dangerous goods, you want to make sure you are complying with all your local Perth laws.
The key difference between hazardous substances and dangerous goods lies within their classification criteria, but their safety storage laws overlap. Hazardous substances cause negative health effects on people while dangerous goods create immediate danger to people and the environment due to physical or chemical effects.
There are a few general guidelines and principles to follow when you store any of these materials. These include:
- Do not store substances in alphabetical order. Some substances, regardless of name, need to be kept a certain distance apart or be stored separately altogether.
- Don’t store excess chemicals if you don’t have to
- Try to keep heavier items closer to the ground
- Keep contents away from heat or any other source of ignition
- If the substance is extremely high risk, keep it away from people or highly populated areas
- Utilise proper storage containers and safety cabinets
Here are 9 things you should be storing in a dangerous goods cabinet according to local Perth law:
1. Flammable Liquids
Flammable liquids give off flammable vapour, and they include most combustible liquids that can catch fire easily. The vapour the liquid gives off is what burns, however. These can easily be identified as their containers will be labelled “flammable,” like aerosol, for example.
Acids should be kept in a separate cabinet from flammable liquids because they could be a source of ignition. When storing flammable liquids together, keep an eye on their class or category because even some flammable liquids need to be kept separate from each other as well.
2. Flammable Solids
Flammable solids differ from flammable liquids because they are able to spontaneously combust and/or emit flammable gasses when they come in contact with water. There are flammable safety cabinets designed specifically to keep you and your workforce safe from these flammable solids.
In case there is a risk of an actual fire or any other workplace emergency, SEPMAR offers workplace emergency response training that is geared towards teaching your team how to safely and efficiently conduct themselves during an emergency.
3. Combustibles or Explosives
Obviously, explosives are quite dangerous. These include any substance that is able to create a hazardous amount of light, sound, heat, smoke, or gas. Perth local law requires these substances to be kept separately from any other hazardous material, as combustibles could be a source of ignition for another hazardous material or dangerous good.
Gasses need to be stored within a safety cabinet because they can be flammable and present an asphyxiation risk. This category includes liquefied gasses, compressed gasses, and solved gasses.
5. Radioactive Materials
Radioactive decay can impact your workforce personnel and the environment, which is why it must be securely stored within a dangerous goods cabinet.
Pesticides are dangerous to both the environment and the people around it if they are stored improperly, which is why they should always be kept in a safety cabinet. Pesticides typically require environmental control during their time in storage as they need to be kept at a temperature above freezing. SEPMAR manufactures a safety cabinet designed specifically for pesticides, among their other safety cabinet designs, and it is definitely worth checking out if you are looking for a new safety cabinet to store your pesticides.
7. Toxic Materials and Infectious Substances
If toxic materials are exposed to skin, they can cause serious injury; these must be stored safely as even simply inhaling them in some cases can pose a severe threat.
8. Oxidising Substances
While these substances themselves aren’t explosive, there have been cases where they have contributed to the combustion of another material. Make sure to safely store these separately from other types of dangerous goods.
Corrosives are known to cause damage to other materials through chemical reactions, which is why they must be stored within a dangerous goods cabinet.