Paint is considered to be a flammable and combustible material, therefore in most cases it should be stored in a flammable storage cabinet to ensure the safety of your staff and others in the workplace. There are however, rules and regulations which you can refer to in order to determine whether you need to store paint in a COSHH cabinet.
Many industries which work with hazardous chemicals such as paints, solvents and acids are subject to COSHH requirements, meaning they must have colour-coded and clearly marked flammable storage cabinets for these items. It is important to understand all the safety risks involved with working with flammable paints as they are a fire/explosion risk and can have an impact on employees’ health if the working environment and processes in place are unsafe.
Typically, paint storage requirements will be based on their flash points and flammability. For instance, oil-based paints are flammable whilst latex-based paints are not. When it comes to storing paint, this is what you need to know:
- If you have over 113.7 litres (up to 272.8 litres) of flammable paint, you will need a COSHH cabinet.
- If over 272.8 litres of solvent-based paint needs storing inside, it will need to be safely stored in a designated room which meets fire protection standards.
- If over 272.8 litres of flammable paint needs storing outdoors, the paint storage building will need to meet safety standards.
- The recommended maximum quantity of highly flammable liquids and flammable liquids with flash-points below the maximum ambient temperature of the work area to be stored in a flammable cabinet is 50 litres. You should not store more than 250 litres of other flammable liquids with higher flash-points (up to 55℃) in a storage cabinet or bin.
- The flammable storage cabinet itself must be in a safe area which is well ventilated, set away from other dangerous chemicals and not blocking any emergency exits.
Storage for flammable liquids such as paint must be sited in a well-ventilated area, ideally in a room which is designed to facilitate paint mixing and handling. It is important to store paint in a COSHH cabinet when not in use as solvents are found in paints, increasing the risk of those working around them becoming ill. According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), solvents can cause illness and irritation through the following:
- The air – paints can release solvent vapours as they dry which can be inhaled by those in close proximity.
- Through the skin – some solvents can be absorbed through the skin which can also lead to burns and dermatitis.
- Through the eyes – if liquid solvent in the paint or solvent vapour gets into the eyes, this can cause inflammation and irritation.
- Through ingestion – solvents can be consumed via contaminated food and drinks so you must take care not to eat or drink near paints and always wash your hands thoroughly.
It is therefore important to always use personal protective equipment (PPE) and follow all necessary guidelines to avoid accidents or harm to employees.
You can find more information about the storage of flammable liquids in working environments on the HSE website.
Looking for a flammable cabinet?
If you need a safe and robust flammable storage cabinet to store your paint or any other flammable substances in, look no further than Manutan! We sell a range of COSHH cabinets including small COSHH cabinet products depending on the amount of flammable materials you need to store.
COSHH cabinets are designed to store dangerous hazardous materials such as flammable liquids, gases, and solids to keep building’s safe. Browse our COSHH cabinet products today or feel free to contact us and speak to a member of our friendly team if you would like some advice or more information.