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Eliminating the Risks Associated with Hazardous Materials Storage

Risks Associated with Hazardous Materials Storage

There are many risks that come with hazardous materials storage. It is important to know the dangers associated with these chemicals, as well as how to store them correctly. Knowing what you’re getting into will help eliminate potential accidents and incidents before they happen. If you need help in improving the level of safety in your workplace, especially when you need to deal with dangerous materials, then Safecon Health and Safety can help. Under the helm of accomplished Environmental, Health & Safety (EHS) Dermot Foley, Safecon can provide you with the technical know-how to ensure hazardous materials storage is done safely and professionally.

Read on to know more about how you can effectively eliminate the risks associated with hazardous material storage, and how you can tap on Dermot Foley’s years of experience in the EHS industry.  Furthermore, this resource will discuss some common mistakes made during hazardous material storage and offers solutions for eliminating these errors so that your business can run smoothly and safely. Let’s look into:

  • Identifying Hazardous Materials
  • Dangers of Hazardous Materials Storage
  • How To Store Hazardous Materials Safely and Securely
  • What To Do in the Event of an Emergency Involving Hazardous Materials
  • How To Significantly Improve Your Health and Safety Management System
Hazardous Materials Storage

Identifying Hazardous Materials

Before safe and effective storage can begin, it is important to identify what hazardous chemicals are in your workplace and how they should be stored. This will help eliminate potential hazards that could cause accidents during hazardous material storage. It is also a legal requirement for all businesses to have their hazardous materials properly identified.

Identifying hazardous chemicals correctly reduces the risk of errors when labels or signs need replacing due to damage from weather conditions such as rain or direct sunlight.

The following are some examples of hazardous materials that need to be stored properly:

  • Acids
  • Alkalis
  • Flammable Liquids
  • Oxidizers

For a full list of hazardous materials, please see the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). You can get an MSDS from your supplier of these materials. It is also important to have a site-specific safety plan that will identify any other specific hazards associated with your workplace and how to control them.

At this point, it is important to note that identifying hazardous materials in the workplace is the initial step in establishing a safe workplace. It is also equally important to review all activities, processes and procedures in your workplace that may affect the safety of everyone. 

As a leading health and safety partner among businesses, Safecon can help you ensure that your company is meeting the prescribed regulations in hazardous materials management. With the help of Dermot Foley,  we will help you develop a storage program that is specific to your workplace and meets all safety requirements.

Dangers of Hazardous Materials Storage

Hazardous materials storage may seem like an easy task at first glance but there are many risks involved with this process if it’s not done right. For example:

Chemical spillage 

If you handle hazardous materials improperly, chances are high that they will spill. This can cause chemical burns, respiratory problems and even death. Accidents such as these can actually result in injury or death. For example, an employee being sprayed by a chemical that they were not aware of is highly dangerous and will require immediate medical attention to prevent further injuries from occurring. Another instance would be if someone was to ingest hazardous chemicals and experienced vomiting or diarrhoea. 


If hazardous materials are not stored in the correct containers or in an approved storage area, they could easily catch fire.  If these are not stored securely, it will be easier for them to fall and hit someone. This can cause serious injury or death.


If hazardous materials come into contact with each other, it can result in a dangerous explosion. The worst-case scenario would be if an employee was in the storage area at the time of this explosion. Explosions in storage areas can result in serious injuries and even death.

Toxic gas 

Exposure to hazardous materials through inhalation, ingestion and /or skin contact may happen if employees are not aware of how hazardous a certain material is. Without proper guidance, they may take unnecessary risks by inhaling the chemical for longer than needed, smoking whilst in an area with dangerous materials storage, or re-entering the storage area after taking a break.

These dangers can be a direct or indirect result of certain activities within the physical site. The following are some examples of what could go wrong during hazardous materials storage:

  • Poor housekeeping can result in spills which may cause serious injuries.
  • Equipment failure is a common problem when storing these kinds of materials and it often results in injury or death.
  • Equipment being used incorrectly can result in storage areas becoming overcrowded. This is very dangerous as it limits the amount of space available to breathe and move around safely especially if there were any hazardous materials involved with an accident.


How To Store Hazardous Materials Safely and Securely

Now that we know some of the dangers associated with hazardous material storage, let’s look at how to safely store these chemicals. Here are some of the best practices that  you should follow:

  • Store hazardous materials in the correct containers. This will help to prevent any accidents from happening. Never mix incompatible chemicals together.
  • Ensure these are tightly sealed and always upright to avoid spills.
  • Make sure that all materials are labelled correctly and that employees are aware of what each label means.
  • Never store flammable liquids and solids together as this can result in an explosion.
  • Store flammable liquids away from ignition sources such as heaters and sparks.
  • Keep acids and bases separate to prevent them from reacting with each other.
  • Store hazardous materials in an approved storage area. This will help to keep employees safe and limit the chances of any accidents taking place.
  • Create a safety plan and make sure all employees are aware of it. Have emergency procedures in place in case of an accident.

It is important to remember that hazardous materials should never be taken lightly. By following these simple steps, you can help to keep your employees safe and limit the chances of any storage accidents taking place.

Safecon can provide your company with an on-site audit to see if your hazardous materials storage area is up to code. This will help you ensure that all safety procedures are in place and employees are aware of the dangers associated with handling these materials. We can also provide your staff with the needed training to work safely in an area with hazardous materials.


What To Do in the Event of an Emergency Involving Hazardous Materials

In the event of an emergency involving hazardous materials, it is important to know what to do and how to respond. Here are some of the procedures that everyone in a company or physical site should be familiar with:

  • If you are near a hazardous materials incident, leave the area immediately and do not return until it is safe to do so.
  • Do not try to move any of the containers involved in the accident as this could result in serious injuries.
  • Call 911 and report the incident.
  • Follow the instructions of emergency responders.
  • If you have been exposed to a hazardous material, seek medical attention immediately.


How To Significantly Improve Your Health and Safety Management System 

A proactive health and safety program in the workplace, especially when you work around hazardous materials and their storage, is an absolute necessity. Safecon is committed to providing our clients with the best safety management system (SMS) in the industry. Led by accomplished Environmental, Health & Safety (EHS) Leader Dermot Foley, he brings with him his 16 years of experience with many Fortune 500 companies, particularly in the Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology sectors.

Our SMS is designed to help your company reduce or eliminate any potential risks associated with hazardous materials storage and usage. Some of the benefits of implementing a Safecon SMS include the following:

Full, no-obligation site assessments

Get a complete understanding of your hazardous materials storage and handling issues with a no-obligation site visit. One of our experts will assess your current situation, produce a comprehensive written report and make recommendations so that you can comply with all current environmental legislation and best practice procedures.

Ongoing support and guidance

Once you have implemented our SMS, you will have access to our team of experts who can provide ongoing support and advice as required. This includes safety reviews, audits, incident investigation and assistance with creating or updating your health & safety policy documents.

Full design service

Can’t see what you’re looking for? Find out how a tailor-made solution could work for you. Discuss your specific site requirements with us and we’ll engineer a bespoke proposal that slots right in with your needs. 

Complete, ongoing documentation and training

Our audits will help to ensure that your company is compliant with all current legislation and best practice procedures. You’ll also receive a full written report and any needed corrective action plans for implementation in the future. We can create or update your site health & safety policy documents.

Fast turnaround

Your deadlines are our priority. We manufacture to strict, in-house quality guidelines and can deliver most large chemical stores within four weeks. Plus, our experienced steel fabricators operate to the highest possible standards of excellence.

Quality you can count on

You’ll benefit from a 10-year structural guarantee on most products. Simply return delivered items that you’re not happy with, and we’ll address any issues you may have, without fuss.

Trusted Project Management

You can count on us to deliver a stress-free, friendly service that delivers on time, every time. Ask us to assist you on any kind of project – from a simple spill pallet to a 200 pallet bunded warehouse facility.



Why is the training of handling hazardous materials important?

Training in hazardous materials storage is highly important. Without proper training, we are inadvertently putting the lives of employees at risk. Toxic gases, for example, can cause serious side effects if inhaled. Even if a worker is careful when handling hazardous materials or dangerous goods, they could be constantly exposed to that toxic gas which can leach through materials and cause skin irritation.

Why is it important to store materials properly?

You must ensure chemicals and dangerous substances are stored and handled in a way that minimises their risks and limits people’s exposure to them. You can control risks by storing chemicals according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Keeping the minimum quantity of hazardous substances is also necessary.

What are the important points to be considered while storing hazardous waste?

We can’t overemphasize this fact: follow all safety and legislative guidelines. Use sealable containers that prevent the release of contents and prevent other substances from entering the containers. Use storage containers that are compatible with the type of waste stored, and are made of durable, weather- and corrosion-resistant materials.

How important are materials handling and storage?

Material handling is an essential component of any successful warehouse, and this also includes the effective management and handling of any hazardous materials. Proper materials handling and storage saves you money, reduces voids in your inventory and can make a big difference to the efficiency of your warehouse.

What is a hazardous materials storage system?

A hazardous materials storage system (or HSS) allows you to safely store chemicals or dangerous goods where they are required at different stages within an industrial process. The system is designed to control access and protect employees, the public and the environment.

What are some of the benefits of a hazardous materials storage system?

Some of the benefits of implementing a Safecon HSS include protection against fire and explosion; prevention of the release of hazardous materials into the environment; control over access to hazardous materials; and protection of employees and the public.


You can find more information here on our website, or contact us today for your first free consultation. We would be happy to discuss your specific requirements and provide you with a proposal tailored to your needs. Safecon has over 20 years of experience in the design and manufacture of hazardous materials storage systems. We are the safe and reliable choice for all your materials handling and storage needs.