When you need to store your hazardous chemicals, you should hire a third-party logistics provider that is an ISO certified and has a state of the art facilities and methods for storing hazardous materials. This third party logistics provider should also work with the local fire departments in your area, the EPA and the OSHA that will ensure a provision of the needed safety and operational features in order to safely warehouse the chemicals of their customers. Also, your 3PL should also be certified by carriers like FedEx and UPS for chemical shipping of small packages if you need to have those services.
Wherever you will store quantities of your chemicals, it is advisable to follow some guidelines.
First is to date all chemicals received for inventory upon receipt. You should use older stock before the newer stocks. Inventory should be verified on the basis of yearly activity. Be reminded that other items in the warehouse are not to be mixed with the chemicals thus should be placed in separate and secure areas.
Also, fume hoods and work areas are not recommended for chemical storage. Clear and proper labelling of the storage areas and storage cabinets is highly recommended so as to announce the identity of the hazardous material placed inside. Also, make sure that products are properly labelled and identified before storing. The exact contents, hazardous properties, date of receipt and date of expiration should be shown on the labels.
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Be cautioned also that flammable chemicals should never have been stored in refrigerators like those used domestically. Even if only on temporary basis, chemicals should never be stored directly on the floor. It is advisable also that you store chemicals at eye level because in this condition, the storage situation can be easily reviewed, and when problems like corrosion happened, you can immediately address the problem.
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It is recommended that the shelving you will use in the storage area will be secured firmly to the walls and floors. To prevent bottles and other containers from falling from the shelves, there should be a lip around all sides of the shelves. Know that wooden shelves are fit for general storage because they are less effective heat conductors, while metal shelving are to be used for storing flammable products since the risk of fire in this material is less.
It is not advisable to store chemicals below, above or near a sink or water source since most of these chemicals can be affected by moisture and become even more hazardous in such case. It is also advisable that the storage areas of the chemicals are to be located far away from heavily travelled areas of the establishment’s premise.
Make it a must to lock all storage cabinets, and closets when not in use. Storing in a cool and dry place is the general rule when chemicals are to be stored.