Dangerous goods storage requirements
May 9, 2018

Dangerous goods storage requirements

Walter Ingles Walter Ingles

Dangerous goods are solids, liquids or gases that are harmful to people, property and the environment. Dangerous Goods include substances that are; explosive, flammable, spontaneously combustible, oxidising, toxic, corrosive and water reactive. Some commonly used dangerous goods include; petrol, solvents, paints, acids and pesticides.

Workplace incidents involving dangerous goods have the potential to cause severe or fatal injuries to people and large-scale destruction to workplace property and the surrounding environment.

As dangerous goods pose significant risks upon the people and property of your organisation, it makes it very important to store your dangerous goods in a safe and compliant manner. If you fail to store your dangerous goods safely, results can range from property damage and financial liability due to non-compliance, through to death.

The safe storage of dangerous goods can be achieved by adhering to the requirements outlined in the Australian Standards. The Australian Standards are not law, however they are accepted as an important part of a solution for meeting legislative compliance. We will now outline the storage requirements for the different classes of dangerous goods.

Class 1 - Explosives

The Australian Standard that outlines the requirements for the storage and handling of explosives is AS2187.1-1998 - Explosives - Storage transport and use - Storage.

This standard outlines the design requirements for internal portable magazines and explosives cabinets. The main requirements for these explosive storage devices include;

  • Fully welded steel or aluminium sheet metal construction no less than 1.1 mm thick.
  • Internally lined with wood that is securely fastened to the steel or aluminium
  • Fitted with a close fitting lid secured by steel hasp, staple and hinges.
  • Fitted with a lock and handles for lifting
  • Painted both internally and externally

Class 2 - Gases

The Australian Standard that outlines the requirements for the storage and handling of gases in cylinders is AS 4332-2004 - The storage and handling of gases in cylinders.

This standard outlines the design and construction requirements for gas cylinder storage cages used for the storage of:

  • Division 2.1 - Flammable Gas
  • Division 2.2 - Non-flammable non toxic gas
  • Division 2.3 - Toxic Gas

The indoor storage of gases in cylinders must be avoided wherever possible. The main design requirements for gas cylinder storage cages include:

  • Must be constructed from a non-combustible material.
  • Doors must open outwards
  • A natural ventilation system that consists of at least 2 opposing walls with louvers. The total area of the vents shall be at least 0.1m2 per one metre of wall length.
  • Must be fitted with restraining chains and bars to protect the gas cylinder from being knocked over or falling.

Class 3 - Flammable liquids

The Australian Standard that outlines the requirements for the storage and handling of flammable liquids is AS1940-2017 - The storage and handling of flammable and combustible liquids.

This standard outlines different requirements for indoor storage and outdoor storage of flammable and combustible liquids.

The design requirements for indoor flammable liquids storage cabinets include:

  • Double walled sheet metal construction with at least 40mm air gap between the walls.
  • Self-closing closing fitting doors that latch at 2 or more points.
  • The inner base of the cabinet shall form a liquid tight spill containment sump that is at least 150 mm deep. Cabinets with a storage capacity exceeding 250L must have a spill containment sump that has the capacity to hold at least 25% of the aggregate storage capacity of the cabinet.
  • Perforated shelves to allow for free air-movement within the cabinet.

The main design requirements for outdoor chemical storage containers used for the storage of flammable liquids include:

  • A liquid tight spill containment sump in the base of the store. The capacity of this spill containment sump depends on the aggregate storage capacity of the chemical storage container. Specific details on the spill containment capacity can be found here.
  • A natural ventilation system comprising of at least two walls of fixed louvers having at least 50% of its area as opening.
  • The relevant dangerous goods signage to warn workers and visitors of the risks associated with the flammable liquids being stored.

Class 4 - Flammable Solids

The Australian Standard that outlines the requirements for the storage and handling of flammable solids is AS/NZS - The storage and handling of class 4 dangerous goods.

This standard outlines the design and construction requirements for cabinets used for the storage and handling of:

  • Division 4.1 - Flammable Solids
  • Division 4.2 - Spontaneous Combustibles
  • Division 4.3 - Substances which in contact with water emit flammable gases

The main requirements for indoor storage cabinets used for the storage of class 4 dangerous goods include:

  • The cabinet shall be of a double walled sheet steel construction having a thickness of at least 0.75mm. The gaps between the walls shall be at least 40mm.
  • The doors of the cabinet shall be self-closing close-fitting and capable of releasing in the event of build up of pressure inside the cabinet.
  • The cabinet must have a base with a spill containment sump that is at least 150mm deep and capable of holding at least 100% of the largest package stored inside the cabinet.
  • Any shelves within the cabinet must be perforated to allow for free air-movement within the cabinet.

Division 5.1 - Oxidising Agents

The Australian Standard that outlines the requirements for the storage and handling of oxidising agents is AS 4326-2008 - The storage and handling of oxidising agents.

This standard outlines the design and construction requirements for indoor oxidising agents storage cabinets. The main construction requirements include:

  • The cabinet must have a double walled sheet steel construction with at least a 40mm air gap between the walls
  • The doors shall be self-closing close-fitting and capable of automatically releasing in the event of a build up of pressure within the cabinet.
  • The cabinet must have a liquid-tight spill containment sump in its base that is at least 150 mm deep and capable of holding 25% of the cabinets total storage capacity.

Division 5.2 - Organic Peroxides

The Australian Standard that outlines the requirements for the storage and handling of organic peroxides is AS2714-2008 - The storage and handling of organic peroxides.

Section 4.6 of AS2714 outlines the requirements for the design and construction of indoor organic peroxide storage cabinets. The main requirements for organic peroxide storage cabinets include:

  • The cabinet must have a dual skinned sheet metal construction of at least 0.75mm thick. The gap between the two sheet metal walls must be at least 40mm.
  • The cabinet must have self-closing close-fitting doors that automatically release in the event of a build up of pressure within the cabinet.
  • The inner base of the cabinet shall form a liquid tight spill containment sump that is at least 150 mm deep. This spill containment sump must be designed to prevent packages being stored in the compound.

Division 6.1 - Toxic Substances

The Australian Standard that outlines the requirements for the storage and handling of toxic substances is AS NZS-4452-1997 - The storage and handling of toxic substances.

The requirements for the design and construction of indoor toxic storage cabinets is outlined in section 4.6 of AS NZS-4452. The main design requirements include:

  • The walls, door, floor and roof of the cabinet shall be a double walled sheet steel construction. The sheet steel must be at least 0.75mm thick and the gap between the two walls must be at least 40mm.
  • The cabinet must have lockable doors.
  • The doors of the cabinet must be self-closing and close-fitting.
  • The base of the cabinet must form a liquid tight spill containment sump that is capable of holding at least 25% of the total capacity of the cabinet.

Class 8 - Corrosive Substances

The Australian Standard that outlines the requirements for the storage and handling of corrosive substances is AS3780-2008 - The storage and handling of corrosive substances.

Section 4.6 of this standard outlines the design and construction requirements for corrosive storage cabinets. Unlike other dangerous goods storage cabinets, class 8 corrosive storage cabinets don’t need to have a sheet metal construction because corrosive substances will dissolve metallic substances by chemical action. The main requirements for corrosive storage cabinets include:

  • The doors of the cabinet must be self-closing close-fitting and held shut by catches at two or more points. The doors of the cabinet must not open inwards and have the ability to be opened from within the cabinet.
  • The base of the cabinet must form a liquid tight sump that is 150mm deep and capable of holding at least 25% of the maximum storage capacity of the cabinet.

Next Steps

As dangerous goods pose significant risks upon the people, property and environment of your organisation it is very important that you store and manage them in a safe and compliant manner. Safe dangerous goods storage can be achieved by adhering to the requirements outlined in Australian Dangerous Goods Standards. If you would like more information on the dangerous properties associated with the 9 different classes of dangerous goods, download our FREE eBook by clicking on the image below.

New call-to-action

Walter is STOREMASTA’s Dangerous Goods Adviser. He loves helping business reduce the risk that Dangerous Goods pose upon their employees, property and the environment through safe and compliant dangerous goods storage solutions.

Share with a friend

   

Like what you're reading?

I want to subscribe!

Related Articles

How to handle dangerous goods in the workplace

Dangerous Goods are substances that present an immediate risk to people, property and the environment. These substances can be explosive, flammable, oxidising, toxic, radioactive or corrosive.
Read More

What is the difference between dangerous goods and hazardous substances?

No matter what industry you are in, or where your business is located; at some stage in your life you would have no doubt had something to do with either dangerous goods or hazardous substances. Perhaps both terms have been used and you’ve passed them off as being the same thing. In actuality, the d...
Read More

The 9 classes of dangerous goods

The Australian Dangerous Goods Code establishes all hazardous substances into 9 different dangerous goods classes according to their physical and chemical properties and the risks that they present.
Read More