Class 3 flammable liquids storage requirements for outdoors

Aug 27, 2018 Posted by Walter Ingles

When larger quantities of flammable liquids are stored in the workplace, they must be stored in the outdoor environments. Flammable liquids will ignite easily and if large quantities are stored indoors, they pose significant risks upon the people and property of your workplace. In fact the Australian Standard AS1940 states that indoor storage cabinets used for the storage of class 3 flammable liquids must not be any larger than 850L. It also states that no more than 850L of flammable liquids can be stored per 250 m2 of floor space. Therefore if you are storing more than 850L of flammable liquid per 250 m2 of floor space, you will have to store these quantities of flammable liquids outdoors to comply with the Australian Standards. Flammable liquids can be safely stored outdoors using a outdoor chemical storage container that has been designed and manufactured in full conformance to AS1940. The requirements for outdoor flammable liquids storage containers are outlined below.  

Spillage Containment

To protect the people, property and environment of your organisation, all outdoor flammable liquids stores must have the provision to contain any spills that may occur within the store. This can be done by using a chemical storage container that has a spill containment bund in the lower compound of the container. The required spillage containment capacity for flammable liquids storage containers depends on the quantity of flammable liquids that are being stored within the container. These quantities are outlined below:

Facilities storing less than 10,000L

Spill containment capacity = 100% of the largest package within the store + 25% of the aggregate capacity of the store.

Facilities storing between 10,000L - 100,000L

Spill containment capacity = 100% or the largest package within the store + 25% of the aggregate capacity of the store + 10% of storage capacity between 10,000L and 100,000L.

Facilities storing more than 100,000L  

Spill containment capacity = 100% or the largest package within the store + 25% of the aggregate capacity of the store + 10% of storage capacity between 10,000L and 100,000L + 5% of the storage capacity exceeding 100,000L

Ventilation

Flammable liquids are volatiles substances that give off flammable vapours. If these flammable vapours come into contact with an ignition source, they will ignite and cause a severe fire that could damage people, property and the environment. Also, if large quantities of flammable vapours are inhaled, it can cause asphyxiation and nausea. To avoid the risks that flammable vapours have upon the people and property of your organisation, flammable liquids storage containers must be ventilated to keep the concentration of the flammable vapours below the workplace exposure standards. An efficient and effective way to ventilate flammable liquids storage containers is to have a natural ventilation system. AS1940 states that a natural ventilation system on a flammable liquids store can be achieved by having two walls of fixed louvers open to the air.   

Dangerous Goods Signage

As flammable liquids will easily ignite and cause severe fires, it is important that all outdoor flammable liquids storage containers have the relevant safety signage to warn workers and visitors of the potential hazards associated with flammable liquids. All flammable liquids stores must be marked with a class 3 flammable liquids sign. This allows workers to be aware of the substances that are stored within the facility. This prevents the likelihood of other incompatible classes of dangerous goods being stored within the flammable liquids store. Flammable liquids will also easily ignite in the presence of an ignition source and therefore all flammable liquids storage facilities must have a sign that states “ No Smoking No Ignition Sources Within 3m”. Examples of these signs are shown below.

Class 3 -  Flammable Liquids

Class 3 - Flammable Liquids

No Smoking No Ignition Sources Within 3m

No smoking no ignition source within 3 meters

Safety Shower

As well as being extremely flammable, class 3 dangerous goods are also very toxic. If flammable liquids are ingested, it can result in severe intoxication which can lead to death. Because flammable liquids are very toxic, they will cause a lot of irritation if they come into contact with your eyes. If your eyes are exposed to large quantities of flammable liquids, your eyesight could be permanently damaged. To avoid the risk of eye damage, all flammable liquids storage containers must be located next to emergency decontamination facilities. AS1940 states that all flammable liquids storage facilities must have a eye wash station within 10 metres but no nearer than 2 metres. When the flammable liquids storage container is storing more than 2000L of flammable liquids, a safety shower must also be located within 10 metres but not nearer than 2 metres.

Next Steps

If your organisation uses large quantities of flammable liquids, it is very important that you store these flammable liquids outdoors. Storing flammable liquids outdoors reduces the risks the flammable liquids pose upon the people and property of your organisation. To store flammable liquids in a safe and compliant manner, you must follow the requirements of AS1940 that are outlined above. If you would like more information on how to reduce the risks associated with flammable liquids, download our free eBook by clicking on the image below.

How to reduce the risk of flammable liquids in the workplace

Walter Ingles

Walter Ingles Compliance Specialist

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

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