An interesting area of logistics is that pertaining to chemicals. We’re fortunate to have Barnastock share their thoughts on chemical storage with us. Barnastock is based in Barcelona Spain and is a chemical product logistics company that is part of Grup Barcelonesa. Services they provide include storage of chemical products, packaging, decanting of hazardous chemical products, transport, computerized integration with the client, personalized management, importation and exportation.
Chemical products have to be handled and stored following a great set of rules. These rules have been established not only to serve legal purposes but also and mainly for safety reasons. Indeed, chemicals have their own special features and may represent a potential hazard if not handled accordingly. It is thus compulsory for any person who is working in a chemical-related sector to get a clear understanding of what these specifics are and how they reflect on the daily tasks the employee will have to carry out.
The main purpose of this article is to raise awareness about this matter; however it does not represent an exhaustive list that necessarily has to be followed. The sector of chemicals is very wide and complex, each facility has its own way of proceeding, and its own requirements. As a consequence, the information provided below should only serve as a general guideline.
- Establish the class of the chemicals
Dangerous goods or hazardous materials (HazMat) are divided into nine classes (and other subcategories): explosives, gases, flammable liquids, flammable solids, oxidizing agents, toxic substances, radioactive substances, corrosive substances and miscellaneous. This classification, illustrated with pictograms, is based on the main characteristic of the chemical.
- Find the right place
Once you will have established the specifics of these chemicals you will be able to know where and how to store them. Indeed, all chemicals have their own requirements; some have to be kept at a low temperature while some have to remain in a well-ventilated place, for instance.
The non-compliance with these requirements could reveal itself dangerous not to mention that you could get into legal problems. You also need to be aware of the fact that some chemicals cannot be stored in the same place, because of the reaction that could occur if they were to come into contact.
- Label your chemicals
It is very important that all your chemicals are labelled so that the employees can clearly understand what type of product they are, if they have been misplaced, the safety measures that should be taken in case of emergency, and so on. Labels must specify what is in the container, the potential hazards, as well as the name, address and phone number of the manufacturer.
- Raise awareness about safety measures
You might also want to make sure that all the people working in your facility know how to handle the chemicals and how to react in case of emergency. Insist on the fact that PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) should always be used no matter how confident or experienced the personnel are.
These are a few basic steps that every company dealing with chemicals has to be aware of. Do not take any chances, if you know for a fact that your facility does not possess the right infrastructure, you might want to hire the services of a professional such as Barnastock that could help you manage your chemical products.