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Storage of corrosive chemicals: 5 warehousing essentials

Wed, Apr 08, 2020 @ 07:00 AM / by Robert Deiro and Mike Mallette

The storage of corrosive chemicals, whether liquid or solid, is a strictly controlled process. Many risks present themselves if proper specifications and handling methods are absent. Fire, explosions, leaks and human contact are a few of the unfortunate circumstances that could occur if the warehouse is inadequately constructed and the personnel are not sufficiently trained in corrosive storage and handling.

When choosing a chemical warehouse provider, following are 5 essential qualities you should look for.

Corrosive chemical warehousing essentials

storage of corrosive chemicals1. OSHA Compliance. Effective chemical storage means safe chemical storage. And an important starting point for chemical warehouse safety is compliance with Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) requirements.

Some of OSHA’s key requirements include:

  • Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs). OSHA has set PELs for chemicals and other materials in order to protect employees in the workplace from exposure. Workers are not to be exposed to levels of chemical greater than these PELs. Importantly, states like California have their own exposure limits that are more stringent than the federal ones.
  • Hazard Communication Standard (HCS). This standard requires that information related to the identity of chemicals and their associated hazards are clearly communicated to workers and all users who encounter the chemicals downstream from the manufacturer. This information is commonly communicated in the form of Safety Data Sheets (SDS) for each chemical product.

Additional requirements related to corrosives include:

  • Corrosives must be stored separately from all processing and handling areas, and kept a safe distance away from other non-compatible chemicals.
  • Racking, flooring and walls must be constructed from materials that are resistant to corrosive contact.
  • Corrosive area must be well ventilated and labelled with appropriate warning signs.
2. Compliant Warehouse Construction. Storage rooms or areas for corrosive materials have strict specifications as to their construction. Areas must meet minimum requirements as follows.
  • Mechanical ventilation
  • Concrete ramp at entrance and inside the area
  • Concrete dike on the perimeter at a height of 12 inches
  • Automatic sprinkler system
  • Air inlet and fireproof door
3. Fully Trained Personnel. All personnel involved in corrosives storage and handling must have certification based on state, national and international regulations. Knowledge of handling, labeling and arranging the transportation of dangerous goods is mandatory to ensure safe chemical product distribution. This knowledge is essential in the event of spills, leaks or explosions in a corrosive storage warehouse, where qualified staff can take emergency steps to minimize damage and prevent injury.
 
4. Hazmat Compliance. Governing agencies will randomly perform audits of hazmat records kept by the warehouse for dangerous goods compliance. The warehouse must maintain records that show receiving details, storage time and outgoing shipments. Additionally, proof of ongoing training of the warehouse personnel needs to be available.

Non-compliance here can produce hefty penalties – well into 7+ figure territory. Common infractions include the lack of a dangerous goods storage and disposal program, and a failure to perform adequate training on proper chemical management.

5. Visibility. Another key part of the safe storage of corrosive chemicals is visibility into the location of these products at all times. You will want a provider that offers real-time, 24/7 visibility into your inventory and can integrate its systems with yours.

 

Turn to Weber Logistics for corrosive chemical storage

If you’re looking for chemical warehousing on the West Coast, look no further than Weber.

Chemical logistics has been a strategic focus of ours since 1970. We have an internal compliance team that performs routine audits of all chemical processes and procedures. Also, we are active members of key chemical associations like the National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD), which performs an external audit of our operations annually.

These rigorous compliance measures are supported by a seasoned staff of chemical experts that average 15 years in the industry. To learn more about the ways that Weber can support your West Coast corrosive chemical operations, contact us today.

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Topics: Logistics Management, Chemical Logistics, Chemical Storage

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