Safe storage of hazardous materials can be the difference between business-as-usual or a life-threatening fire or toxic release. Even if a hazardous material has been stored in the same location for many years without incident, regular risk assessments can make the difference.
Answering four basic questions can reveal if the material can be safely stored in a location or that it may be time to consult a professional supplier such as industrial storage space Denver CO to consider solutions.
Simply storing materials according to OSHA regulations and NFPA standards may be deemed sufficient but in reality, may not be a comprehensive solution and could create a false sense of security.
Assess the Risk
A more thorough review looks at four questions about hazardous materials storage.
- What material is stored? Are the physical and chemical properties of a hazardous substance compatible with other materials stored nearby?
- Why is the material stored? Is the material being stored required or is a less hazardous substance available? Would just-in-time delivery reduce the risk?
- Where is the material stored? Is the storage container permanent or transient? Placement of a hazardous material where workers do not expect it can lead to accidents. Would a larger container reduce the risk of frequent refills? Are communications protocols in place to inform workers when an adjacent activity under different management takes place?
- How is the material stored? Does container storage comply with government regulations and manufacturers specs? Do operational rules include unexpected situations such as lack of space in a designated locker or temporary placement where the material may be exposed to sunlight?
Regular and repeated training on recognizing material hazards and proper storage and handling is important in preventing accidents.
With suitable training, workers learn to connect hazardous materials with the risks they present. With that connection, workers take the proper precautions when storing, moving and handling.