Safety Tip of the Week – Chemical Storage Is A Matter of Safety

There are many work situations in which chemicals are routinely relied upon to get the work done. But just as important as the safe handling of these chemicals is their safe storage. If not stored properly, chemicals can cause a fire, explosion, or personal injury.

General Guidelines:

Follow these guidelines for safe chemical storage:

  • Read chemical labels and SDSs for specific storage and handling instructions;
  • Store chemicals in a well-ventilated area; however, do not store chemicals in a fume hood;
  • Maintain an inventory of all chemicals in storage;
  • Return chemical containers to their proper storage location after use;
  • Store glass chemical containers so that they are unlikely to be broken;
  • Store all hazardous chemicals below eye level; and
  • Never store hazardous chemicals in a public area or corridor.

You Can Protect Yourself Against Chemical Hazards:

  • Use specified personal protective equipment (PPE) that may include chemical-splash goggles, a respirator, safety gloves, apron, steel-toed shoes, safety glasses with side shields, etc.;
  • Ensure the PPE fits properly and you are trained in its use;
  • Inspect all PPE before you use them. Ensure your respirator has the proper chemical cartridge for the particular chemical hazard. Change cartridges when it is necessary;
  • Know the location of safety showers and eyewash stations and how to use them;
  • Wash your hands before eating, especially after handling chemicals; and
  • Leave your contaminated clothing at work.
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