10 steps for a safe chemical cleaning storage
A safe chemical storage system is necessary in all businesses to mitigate any health and safety risks. Chemical storage is of the upmost importance, and as an Account Manager I train all of my customers on safe chemical storage in the workplace.
As a Dominant Account Manager it is my job to identify any hazards in a business with their cleaning chemical storage, assess risks, make an effort to control these risks, and conduct ongoing reviews to ensure correct processes are being followed and that compliance to the regulatory requirements are met.
There are many elements that need to be taken into consideration for storing cleaning chemicals so it is always great to have a refresher on best practices.
Here is a list of 10 tips to help control any risks with cleaning chemical storage:
1 - Store products in a suitable location
Make sure products are kept in a safe location away from heat, light, water and electricity sources. They should be kept in a designated cupboard where possible, or in a storage area with adequate ventilation. If space is not adequately ventilated there is a risk of a build-up of dangerous vapours, or fumes.
2 - Lock chemical storage spaces
Your storage space should remain locked when not in use. This is to ensure the area is not accessed by any untrained, or unauthorised staff and visitors.
3 - Use clear signage
Storage spaces should be clearly labelled with any required warning signage and instructions.
4 - Don't mix incompatible products
Hazardous chemicals that are incompatible should be separated from each other to avoid any risk of them reacting in the event of a spillage or leak. This can potentially cause a fire. Clear signage should indicate where products should be stored.
5 - Correctly rotate stock
All cleaning chemicals have a shelf life and it is important to ensure the older products are being used first. This is to ensure new stock does not get used before older stock resulting in any products becoming less effective, or going out of date. This activity can be done during monthly visits.
6 - Maintain safety equipment
Spill Kits and personal protective equipment (PPE) should be available as per the recommendations on the label and we assist to make sure this is properly maintained.
7 - Correctly dispose of empty product containers
In the most part all 5L and 15L drums can be recycled or placed in the bin. Your dominant account manager will advise you if there are any of your products in use that have specific container disposal issues.
8 - Keep an up to date register of hazardous chemicals
You should keep one controlled copy of Safety Data Sheets (SDS) and a hazard register for all chemicals stored on site. Your account manager will help you keep this up to date and with in the 5 year shelf life.
9 - Train staff
Safe chemical handling training should be carried out with your team members at least annually and all Dominant Account managers are able to conduct this training. Online modules are also available.
10 - Always review
Review your processes frequently by carrying out audits to ensure they are still effective and all employees are complying with set cleaning chemical storage rules.
All things considered, my clients can manage any hazards associated with their cleaning chemical storage by following these ten procedures.