5 Uses For Storage

How to Store Chemicals Properly

Properly storing chemicals is very important especially for laboratories or research centers. There are guidelines or requirements for chemical storage that are given by the Occupations Safety and Health Administration or OSHA, that should be carefully considered. Chemical storage should follow these requirements.

It is not enough to just put all the chemicals that you use on shelves. Chemicals of different kinds should be separated and stored according to their kind. Different chemicals should not be put together in a cabinet but rather there should be put in different storage places or cabinets for different kinds of chemicals.

When you are storing chemicals, remember that these chemicals can interact. Keeping chemicals away from each other especially if they have negative interaction is very important. To give an example, solvent should be kept in fire resistant cabinets but must not be stored together with oxidizing agents. Acids like nitric, hydrochloric, and sulfuric acids should be kept away from bases like sodium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide, slaked lime, sodium carbonate, and aqueous ammoia. Mixing acids and bases generate heat and thus put the storage facility at risk. It is important to put labels to your chemicals, and cylinders should be labeled on their shoulders.

The recommendation of the OSHA is that there should be at least five chemical storage areas or cabinets. These five storage cabinets can contain the following: general chemicals for the first cabinet where chemicals are put depending on category and hazardous rating, acids for the second cabinet, corrosive acids for the third, corrosive bases for the fourth, and flammable chemicals for the last cabinet. These cabinets should be far from sinks or water sources and should always be locked. When liquids are kept in safety cabinets, excessive chemical vapors may be a concern. It is best to put these cabinets away from the sunlight but in cool, dry places. There should be hazardous signs installed on the doors of the cabinets or storage places.

To help identify chemicals quickly, it has been recommended by OSHA to create a color coding system because they do not have a specific system that everyone should follow. In order to classify chemicals, here is a great color coding scheme to follow: flammable chemicals can be red, reactive or oxidizing agents can be yellow, chemicals hazardous to health can be blue, corrosive chemicals can be white, and chemicals that are moderately hazardous can be green and gray.

The people that are handling the chemicals should receive training on the safety storage procedures. OSHA recommends that training should be completed every few moths. New chemicals brought to the facility should be known to all and should be handled and stored properly. Chemical storage is very important. The protection of property and personnel are ensured when chemicals are stored properly. The training and qualification of personnel is very important when it comes to handling chemicals.