Dangerous goods signage requirements for chemical storage cabinets

Aug 28, 2018 Posted by Walter Ingles

Dangerous goods are substances being solids, liquids or gases that will cause harm to people, property and the environment. As dangerous substances pose a major risk to the people in the workplace, it’s important to make sure that everyone in the work place is aware of the risks associated with the dangerous goods that are present. This can be done by displaying clear dangerous goods warning signage. 

Dangerous goods signage allows workers to identify the dangerous substance being stored. It also warns them of any potential hazards associated with the specific class of dangerous goods being stored. When dangerous goods are stored in chemical storage cabinets, the correct dangerous goods signage must be displayed to warn workers of the potential hazards. Each class of dangerous good has a different sign that presents the specific risk associated with that hazard class. 

The safety signage requirements for chemical storage cabinets is outlined in the relevant Australian Standard that specifies the requirements for the class of dangerous goods that is being stored. The design requirement for dangerous goods signs that must be applied to chemical storage cabinets are outlined in the Australian Standard AS 1216-2006 - Class labels for dangerous goods. Below we will discuss which dangerous goods sign is required for different chemical storage cabinets. 

 

Explosives Storage Cabinets

The signage requirement for explosive storage cabinets is outlined in the Australian Standard AS 2178-1998. This standard states:

2.1.3 Marking The magazine shall be marked on the door or lid as follows:

(b) A Class 1 label is to be used in accordance with the requirements of AS 1216, of minimum size of side 250 mm except for internal portable magazines or external portable magazines with a capacity less than 60 kg or 500 detonators.

Therefore, when storing explosives, you must use a Class 1 dangerous goods label. An example of a Class 1 label is shown below:

Explosives Sign

 

Flammable Liquids Storage Cabinets

The standard that sets out the dangerous goods signage requirements for flammable liquids storage cabinets is AS 1940-2017. This standard states:

4.9.4 Cabinet Marking

Each cabinet shall be marked with—

(c) a Class 3 dangerous goods label with sides of at least 250 mm nominal length;

Therefore all chemical storage cabinets storing flammable liquids should be marked with a Class 3 - Flammable liquids label. An example of this sign is shown below:

Class 3 flammable liquids sign

Flammable Solids Storage Cabinets

The standard that sets out the specifications for the dangerous goods signage required for chemical storage cabinets storing flammable solids is AS/NZS 5026-2012. Section 5 of this standard states:

5.7.4 Cabinet Marking

Each cabinet shall be marked with—

(c) the relevant dangerous goods division label with sides of at least 250mm nominal length

All signs and markings shall be clearly visible when the cabinet doors are closed.

Therefore all chemical storage cabinets used to store flammable solids must clearly display the relevant dangerous goods division label. These division labels will either be; Division 4.1 Flammable solids, division 4.2 Substances liable to spontaneous combustion or division 4.3 Dangerous when wet. Examples of these class labels are shown below:

Class 4.1 - Flammable solids

Class 4 - flammable solid sign

 

Class 4.2 - Spontaneously combustible

 Class 4.2 spontaneously combustible sign

 

Class 4.3 - Dangerous when wet

class 4.3 dangerous when wet sign

 

Oxidising Agents Storage Cabinets

The standard that specifies the dangerous goods signage requirements for oxidising agent storage cabinets is AS 4326-2008. Section 10 of this standard states:

10.3 SIGNS AND PLACARDS 10.3.1

Placarding of stores

Unless otherwise required (e.g. by regulation), signs shall comply with AS 1319. Class labels shall conform with AS 1216 and be a minimum of 250 mm square. Composite signs or graphics symbols complying with these requirements may be used.

Therefore, chemical storage cabinets used for storing oxidising agents must be labelled with a “Class 5.1-oxidising agent" sign that complies with AS 1216. An example of this label is shown below:

Class 5.1 oxidising agent sign


Organic Peroxides Storage Cabinets

The standard that specifies the dangerous goods signage requirements for organic peroxide storage cabinets is AS 2714-2008. Section 4 of this standard states:

4.6.3 Cabinet Marking

Cabinets shall be marked in accordance with Clause 6.3.

As section 4 of AS 2714-2008 directs us to section 6, we must follow the dangerous goods siganage requirements specified in section 6. Section 6 of this standard states:

6.3 PLACARDING

6.3.1 Placards and warning signs

Stores shall be placarded in accordance with the NOHSC:1015. Placards and signs shall be maintained so as to be legible. Placarding shall reflect the actual storage situation at any given time and shall be amended without delay.

These additional signs shall have lettering that contrasts with the background and is clearly legible from any access point. Unless otherwise required, the letters shall be at least 50 mm high. All signs shall comply with AS 1216 and AS 1319. Composite signs or graphic symbols complying with these requirements may be used.

As this standard states that the “placarding must reflect the actual storage situation” and that “all signs must comply with AS 1216” a "division 5.2 organic peroxide" label must be applied to all cabinets storing organic peroxides. An example of this sign is show below:

class 5.2 organic peroxide sign

Toxic Substances Storage Cabinets

The Australian standard that specifies the dangerous goods signage requirements for toxic substances is AS/NZS 4452 - 1997. Section 4 of this standard states:

4.4.2.6 Cabinet Marking Cabinets shall be marked in accordance with Clause 7.4.1

As section 4 of AS/NZS 4452-1997 directs us to section 7, we must follow the dangerous goods signage requirements specified in section 7. Section 7 states:

7.4 PLACARDING

7.4.1 Placarding of stores   Every installation where toxic substances are kept shall be placarded in accordance with the Worksafe Australia “Guidance note for placarding stores for dangerous goods and specified hazardous substances”

Therefore Worksafe Australia's “Guidance note for placarding stores for dangerous goods and specified hazardous substances” must be followed for dangerous goods signage requirements for toxic storage cabinets. This document states:

Guidance Note for Placarding Stores for Dangerous Goods and Specified Hazardous Substances [NOHSC:3009(1990)]

PACKAGE STORES 6.6

Package stores are to be placarded with a composite warning placard.

Composite Warning Placard 6.7 The composite warning placard is to show:

  • The Class label, with sides of at least 100 mm, for the class of dangerous goods stored,

Therefore all toxic substance storage cabinets must display a "division 6.2 - toxic substance" label. An example of a toxic substance label is show below: 

class 6.1 toxic substance sign


Corrosive Substances Storage Cabients

The standard that specifies the dangerous goods signage requirements for corrosive substances storage cabinets is AS 3780-2008. Section 4 of this standard states:

4.6.7 Cabinet Marking

Cabinets shall be marked in accordance with regulatory requirements. Where there are no such requirements, each cabinet shall be marked with—

(c) a Class 8 dangerous goods label with sides of at least 100 mm nominal length.

All signs and markings shall be clearly visible when the cabinet doors are closed.

Therefore a “Class 8- Corrosive substances” label must be placed on all corrosive storage cabinets. An example of a “class 8- corrosive substances” sign is shown below:

class 8 corrosive substance sign



Miscellaneous Dangerous Goods Storage Cabinets

The standard that specifies the dangerous goods signage requirements for cabinets storing miscellaneous dangerous goods is AS/NZS 4681-2000. Section 1 of this standard states:

1.6 MARKING OF PACKAGES

Packages containing dangerous goods or articles shall be marked in accordance with the appropriate Australian State or Territory or New Zealand legislation.

NOTE: In Australia, labelling in compliance with the ADG Code, NOHSC: 2012 and the SUSDP may be required under such legislation.

Therefore a “Class 9 - Miscellaneous dangerous goods” sign that complies with AS 1216 must be placed on all miscellaneous dangerous goods storage cabinets. The signage reqiurements specified in AS 1216 are based on the requirements in the ADG Code. AS/NZS 4681-2000 states that the signage requirement must comply with the ADG Code. Therefore a "Class 9 - Miscellaneous dangerous goods" label is a compliant signage option for Miscellaneous dangeorus goods cabinets. An example of a compliant miscellaneous dangerous goods sign is shown below:

class 9 miscellaneous dangerous goods sign

As there are many different standards that outline the dangerous goods signage requirement for chemical storage cabinets, it's important that you diligently do your research before you label any chemical storage cabinets. For more information on dangeorus goods signage and how to manage the risks of dangerous goods, download our free ebook by clicking on the image below 👇.  

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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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