The aftermath of the Beirut explosion shook the world. Never before has such an incident happened because of carelessness. The reports coming in say that several tons of ammonia nitrate had been improperly stored and that is what led to such a catastrophic disaster. To think that such a chemical can ne used as fertilisers in our homes. Here at Amaris Chemical Solution ensure you have the right knowledge when dealing with such chemicals. Below are the dos and don’ts for handling such chemicals:
1. THE RIGHT PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (PPE)
The focus of this article is safe storage of chemicals. But before we start rounding up bottles of chemicals and reorganizing our labs, we need to make sure we have the proper PPE. At a minimum, this should include appropriate chemical-resistant gloves and eye protection, closed-toe shoes , and lab coats and/or chemical aprons.
2. SAFE TRANSPORT
Here are our pointers for moving chemicals safely:
• Whenever transporting chemicals, place bottles in appropriate, leak-proof secondary containers to protect against breakage and spillage. A good example is using a special plastic tote for carrying four-litre glass bottles of corrosives or solvents.
• When moving multiple, large, or heavy containers, use sturdy carts. Ensure cart wheels are large enough to roll over uneven surfaces without tipping or stopping suddenly. If carts are used for secondary containment make sure the trays are liquid-tight and have sufficient lips on all four sides.
• Never leave chemicals unattended.
RULES FOR CHEMICAL STORAGE
Safely storing chemicals in a stockroom requires diligence and careful consideration. Correct use of containers and equipment is critical. To store chemicals safely, DO the following;
• Label all chemical containers fully. We recommend including the owner’s or user’s name along with the date received.
• Provide a specific storage space for each chemical, and ensure return after each use.
• Store volatile toxics and odoriferous chemicals in ventilated cabinets.
• Store flammable liquids in approved flammable liquid storage cabinets. Small amounts of flammable liquids may be stored in the open room.
• Separate all chemicals, especially liquids, according to compatible groups. Follow all precautions regarding storage of incompatible materials.
• Use appropriate resistant secondary containers for corrosive materials. This protects the cabinets and will catch any leaks or spills due to breakage.
• Seal containers tightly to prevent the escape of vapours.
• Use designated refrigerators for storing chemicals.
AVOID doing the following;
• Storing large, heavy containers or liquids on high shelves or in high cabinets. Instead store these at shoulder level or below.
• Storing bottles on the floor unless they are in some type of secondary containment
• Storing chemicals near heat sources or in direct sunlight.
• Storing chemicals in fume hoods. Excessive containers interfere with air flow and hood performance. Only chemicals in actual use should be in the hood.
• Storing anything on top of cabinets. Ensure at least 18 inches of clearance around all sprinkler heads to avoid interference with the fire suppression system.
• Using bench tops for storage. These work spaces should contain only chemicals currently in use.
• Storing chemicals indefinitely. Humidity causes powders to cake or harden. Liquid chemicals evaporate. We strongly recommend all containers be dated when they arrive in the lab. Ensure all manufacturers’ expiration dates are strictly followed. Pay special attention to reactive or dangerous compounds. Dispose of all outdated, hardened, evaporated, or degraded materials promptly.
We as Amaris Chemicals solutions care about your well being.