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Federal regulations and guidelines govern the way hazardous chemicals must be stored. To ensure the safe storage and transfer of hazardous chemicals and other flammable or combustible materials, below is a summary of information from Federal compliance resource publications, on the basic principles, guidelines and regulatory rules that must be followed. Many of the regulations and guidelines have been widely adopted by most US states, however, it is important to learn which state laws apply specifically to your industry, company or particular application.
Separation, Isolation and Storage of chemicals and hazardous liquids The improper storage of corrosives and flammable liquids is the leading cause of spills that can result in damage to facilities and impact worker safety. One of the most effective practices to help minimize damage from chemical spills is to isolate the various chemical hazards. Since knowledge of chemical compatibility is critical, it is important to understand that there are two major types of chemical hazards that require their own unique storage and transfer protocols. The two types of chemicals that pose the greatest risk can be classified as either:
• Corrosive materials, which include acids and bases • Flammable or combustible liquids
Corrosive materials have the potential to severely damage surfaces or other substances it contacts. Physical hazards to workers include chemical burns, skin or eye damage; and inhalation or ingestion of a corrosive liquid can cause respiratory damage.
The most effective way to isolate your flammable and corrosive hazards is to store them properly in approved chemical storage containers and cabinets. Using the correct flammable storage (gas cans) or chemical storage containers are the first line of defense. The next step is to utilize the appropriate chemical safety storage cabinets in order to isolate corrosive liquids and flammable liquids from other incompatible chemicals; and to contain the hazards in the event of spill or leakage.