Hazardous Storage Cabinets

Do you need a flammable storage cabinet?

The use of flammable substances are part of many businesses day to day functions. Properly using & storing these liquids is imperative to protect employees & the environment. COSHH are a set of guidelines set out by the HSE to help businesses use, store and dispose of these substances safely.

Flammable and combustible liquids don't actually catch fire themselves, it's the vapours they give off that burn. The flash point is the minimum temperature at which a liquid forms a vapour above its surface in sufficient concentration that it can be ignited.

Flammable liquids fall into these categories:

Flammable

Materials whose vapours form potentially explosive mixtures with air and which are flammable in the presence of a ignition source; with a flash point between 23 – 60°c. Examples include - Syrene (used in the manufacturing of polystyrene) & turpentine oil which is used in soap and cosmetics.

Highly Flammable

Materials whose vapours form explosive mixtures when in the presence of oxygen & an ignition source, with a flash point below 23°c. Examples include acetone and petrol.

Extremely Flammable

The vapours form explosive mixtures when in the presence of oxygen & an ignition source with a flash point below 0°c and boiling point below 35°c. Examples include acetylene, and diethyl ether. Acetylene is used in automotive part manufacturing and fabrication of other metal parts. Diethyl ether is used as a solvent for waxes, fats, oils, perfumes.

Which flammable storage cabinet do you need?

If you have carried out your COSHHH assessment and require a flammable storage cabinet we have a wide range available. After evaluating the risks of the chemicals you need to store and following the storage guidelines you’ll be ready to choose your cabinet. The type of cabinet will depend on how flammable the materials you’re storing are.

Our most popular flammable cabinet is suitable for segregating flammable to highly flammable materials. It is designed with 0.9mm thick steel, COSHH labelling, perforated shelves and sump tray to collect spillages. It is designed maintain its integrity during the early minutes of exposure to fire.

If you’re storing highly flammable materials you might want something a little more robust such as our Justrite cabinets. They are FM approved and designed to withstand fire for a minimum of 10 minutes. Their unique features include 1mm thick double steel walls, with 1.5 inches or insulating airspace for fire resistance. They also have dual vents with flame arresters which are effective in preventing the transmission of a flame.

Where should you keep the cabinets?

Your COSHH assessment will help you identify exactly what you need and how it should be stored. Depending on when and how the flammable substances are used in your business will impact where they’re stored. You might need large cabinets to stored larger quantities of the chemicals and smaller cabinets which can easily be accessed in work areas which will carry smaller quantities.

The guiding principle is that only the minimum needed for frequently occurring tasks or quantity needed for ½ day or one shift should be present in the workroom/working area. We have wall mounted flammable cabinets which are ideal for this type of storage.

The maximum quantity that may be stored in a flammable storage cabinet is no more than 50 litres for extremely, highly flammable and those flammable liquids with a flashpoint below the maximum temperature of the working area; and no more than 250 litres for other flammable liquids with a higher flashpoint of up to 55°C.

It is the responsibility of the employer to carry out a COSHH assessment and ensure that the cabinets meet the legal requirements for the chemicals being stored, but if you need any help or advice choosing a cabinet, our team are happy to help.

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Hazardous material storage containers

Our range of hazardous storage containers from trusted brands including Armorguard and Justrite are designed to securely store hazardous materials such as chemicals, flammables and corrosives on a range of sites. If your workplace handles hazardous materials, then you need to follow COSHH guidelines to ensure the safety of your staff and mitigate the risks associated with these materials.

Hazardous materials should be handled and stored in accordance with the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH). COSHH is a legal requirement for employers of businesses handling substances that could cause harm to employees. Essentially, you need to ensure that you are storing dangerous substances following manufacturer’s guidelines in a secure hazardous storage container which can only be accessed by authorised personnel. You can find important information regarding the safe storage of hazardous materials and COSHH guidelines on the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) website.

Hazardous storage containers FAQs

What are hazardous storage containers?

Hazardous storage containers are a safe storage solution specifically designed to store hazardous materials such as corrosives, flammables and chemicals when not in use. These containers may take the form of hazardous storage cabinets, cans or storage bins and should be compliant with COSHH regulations.

How do you dispose of hazardous materials containers?

Hazardous waste and hazardous material storage containers should only be disposed of at authorised locations. There are also specialist waste disposal companies who can offer hazardous waste collection services to your workplace. It is an employer’s responsibility to ensure that hazardous waste such as chemicals, hazardous waste containers and solvents are safely produced, handled and disposed of to prevent harm or damage. You can find out more about disposing of hazardous waste on the GOV.UK website.

How often should hazardous waste containers be inspected?

You should inspect your hazardous waste storage containers on a daily basis to ensure that no containers are leaking or are damaged. If you find that the integrity of your storage containers have been compromised, you should take immediate action and replace them.

  • Waste is in a fully enclosed, leak and weather proof storage container with a secure locking system
  • Hazardous storage containers are not damaged or leaking.
  • All containers are correctly sealed
  • The storage capacity is not being exceeded
  • Hazardous waste storage containers are stored in the appropriate conditions (away from sources of heat, direct sunlight etc.)

Why are hazard symbols used on chemical containers?

It’s important for a workplace to identify the contents of a hazardous material storage container and the potential hazards associated with them in order to keep employees safe and prevent exposure to dangerous substances. Storing chemicals, flammables and other hazardous materials in the right container which is clearly labelled is a necessary safety precaution in areas handling acids and bases.

AHow do you store hazardous products?

Hazardous products such as chemicals, corrosives and flammables should be stored in an appropriate COSHH cabinet following manufacturer’s guidance in secure hazardous storage containers. The storage container must be located in an area which is:

  • Away from processing areas
  • Out of direct sunlight and away from heat sources
  • In close proximity to a clear exit (but not obstructing any doors)

You should ensure that substances are stored separately from other hazardous materials in the appropriate container (which is in good condition) and are correctly disposed of when they exceed their use-by dates.

What is the best material for waste storage containers?

Typically, the material used for hazardous waste storage containers is metal (unless the metal will affect the contents of the container or the substance inside could erode the metal. Steel is a popular material for hazardous waste storage containers as it is robust and can hold its integrity.

What is a hazardous substance under COSHH?

Hazardous substances covered by COSHH includes materials labelled as a hazardous substance and products containing:

  • Vapours
  • Gases and mists (including asphyxiating gases)
  • Fumes
  • Biological agents
  • Chemicals

To find out more about COSHH and working with hazardous substances, take a look at some articles from HSE and our blog

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