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Storage of water hazardous liquids in environmental and chemical cupboards

1. General regulatory requirements and definitions

Work safety

The employer is obliged to undertake the necessary work safety measures that affect the safety and health of employees at work.
The employer must check the effectiveness of the measures and adjust them to changing circumstances as necessary. The employer must strive towards an improving the safety and health protection of the employees when doing this. The use of environmental and chemical cupboards is useful here. It ensures safety for the employer and employee!

 

Regulation compliant storage of water hazardous liquids

There is a very high risk potential in handling and storing hazardous goods. To protect people and the environment, the special requirements of national legislation must be implemented in companies that work with hazardous goods. This can be ensured for example by using special safety cupboards.

2. Storage and safekeeping of chemicals

Environmental cupboard with safety box (type 30)

Hazardous substances must be stored in such a manner that they do not endanger human health or the environment. Suitable and reasonable measures must be undertaken to preclude misuse or abuse.

To prevent misuse or abuse, it must be ensured that hazardous substances cannot be mixed up with each other or with foodstuffs. For this reason it is essential to ensure that foodstuffs is not stored together with hazardous substances. This is prohibited and can endanger life.

Hazardous substances may only be stored in containers made of materials that can withstand the expected loads. The original containers meet these requirements.
However, the containers must be stored in suitable rooms/stores/cupboards.

 

When storing, it must be remembered that:

  • In particular with organic liquids, there is a danger for plastic containers of embrittlement, deformation or diffusion.
  • Aluminium containers may not be used for substances containing chlorinated hydrocarbons, polypropylene (PP) bottles are suitable for storing strong alkalis; glass bottles are not.
  • Hazardous substances may not be stored in such containers which have a shape or designation that could allow them to be confused with foodstuffs.
  • Hazardous substances that develop hazardous gases, vapours, mists or smoke must be stored in cupboards that are effectively ventilated.
  •  

 

Flammable liquids must be stored in special safety cupboards with a high fire resistance class, that

  • Are connected to a an effective ventilation system that ensures that the air is changed at least 10 times per hour and that constantly releases gases and vapours into the atmosphere.
  • Are equipped with a sump tray made from non-flammable materials under the lowest shelf. The sump tray must be able to take up at least 10 % of the maximum permissible storage quantity and at least the volume of the largest vessel stored in the cupboard.
  • Are equipped with doors that close automatically and which are labelled on the front with the warning signs “Warning! Flammable substances!” and the prohibition sign “Fire, open flames and smoking prohibited”.
  • Prevent fire spreading in the event of a fire by interrupted the cupboard ventilation, for example.
Safety box (type 30)

If such cupboards are not available on site, there are also chemical cupboards that have a shelf level in the form of a safety box with type 30 classification. This box has all of the safety-relevant attributes of a fire resistant safety cupboard.

Poisonous substances and preparations (incl. carcinogenic, gene-modifying or substances endangering reproduction of categories 1 and 2) should be stored so that only specialist personnel can access these hazardous substances!

 

Combined storage

The hazard potential that arises due to the storage of chemicals does not only depend on the quantity to be stored but also on the danger level of the substances. Unsorted storage is not permitted. This could result in storing chemicals together that must be stored separately for safety reasons.

 

Storing special substances such as acids and alkalis:

Acids and alkalis must be stored separately in all cases as they can release corrosive vapours. If these substances are stored in cupboard, the must be stored in separate areas and the cupboard must be connected to a ventilation system and ventilated permanently. The areas must be labelled so that placing acids and alkalis together is not possible.
These cupboards must be equipped with corrosion-resistant sump trays and base.

Please enquire about acid and alkali cupboards for the storage of acids and alkalis in compliance with regulations.

Storage of pesticides

Pesticide storage cupboard

Pesticides are chemical or biological agents and preparations that can harm water and therefore require safe storage.

Pesticides are only to be stored in firmly closed, original packaging. In addition, the following applies: In principle no flammable materials must be used as construction materials. Wooden shelves may not be installed and large container units may not be left in cardboard boxes.
The storage or environmental or chemical cupboard must be labelled as a pesticide storage unit and furnished with the label Pesticides – no access to unauthorised personnel.

Environmental cupboards should have the environmental symbol, meaning that the sump trays are correspondingly leak-proof.
In these cupboards, the storage capacity of the shelves must be taken into consideration. When storing pesticides 10% of the storage quantity and at least the volume of the largest container must be caught in the event of a leak. If you are in a water protection zone, the sump trays must be able to take up the entire storage quantity. In this case, it can be necessary to fit the cupboards with larger shelves.

 

3. Properties of environmental / chemical cupboards:

Depending on the type of the substance to be stored, certain minimum requirements must be met. Safe storage can only be ensured in this way.

 

This is why there are environmental / chemical cupboards for the safe and regulation-compliant storage of non-flammable chemicals and poisons. These cupboards are used for regulation-compliant storage of water-hazardous, non-flammable liquids and poisonous substances in work rooms.

 

They can be optionally equipped with a sump tray that has been specially tested for leaks and certified.
Substances that due to their properties do not require extraction can be stored in chemical cupboards or glass cabinets. Some chemical cupboards have doors with glass inserts. This glazing must be made from either safety glass or materials with safety properties that are at least equal to those of safety glass (compound safety glass, plexiglass, polycarbonate).

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