Separating Outdoor Chemical Stores From Protected Places

Originally published February 11, 2022 12:53:08 AM, updated February 11, 2022

There are many considerations you must make when determining your outdoor chemical storage needs. One of the most important factors that can influence the location of your outdoor chemical stores is how close it is to protected places, onsite protected places and public places. But what is a protected place and how far away from it should your stores be? In this blog, we’ll be answering this question by referring to the requirements of the Australian Standards for various classes of dangerous goods such as flammable liquids, flammable solids and organic peroxides.

But first, let’s detail the definitions for protected, onsite protected and public places — and how the proximity of these could affect the placement of your outdoor chemical storage container.

What Is A Protected Place?

A protected place refers to a variety of dwellings, buildings, areas or facilities that may be within or outside the property boundary of your workplace installation.

NOTE: Your workplace installation is defined as the onsite facilities which are used for the storing or handling of hazardous chemicals.

Protected places could include any building or open area where people may assemble inside or outside the property boundary of your installation, including:

  • Dwelling
  • Residential building
  • Public building
  • Place of worship
  • School
  • College
  • Theatre
  • Hospital

Toxic Relocatable-1

When installing your outdoor store, make sure you’re familiar with the requirements that relate to the location of your store and separation distances.

It could also include a building where people are employed (outside the boundary of your installation) such as:

  • Office
  • Store
  • Shop
  • Factory
  • Workshop

In addition to this list, other dangerous goods storage areas that are located outside the boundary property of your installation could also be classed as protected places unless they are defined as minor storages.

Definition Of Onsite Protected Place

This is an onsite building at your workplace where people are employed within the property boundary. An onsite protected place includes offices, amenities, warehouses, manufacturing areas, processing facilities and other dangerous goods stores where quantities exceed minor storage.

What Is A Public Place?

The definition of a public place is any place other than private property, that is open to the public. A public place is an area which the public has a right to use and includes a public road. This does not include parking areas for commercial buildings.

Why Are Separation Distances Required For Package Stores?

For many classes of dangerous goods, there are serious risks associated with their handling and storage. By following separation distances for package stores from protected places, onsite protected places and public places, you are decreasing the risk of a chemical hazard affecting a populated site within or close to your business. The separation distances are detailed for various classes of dangerous goods and may be broken down into packing groups for further specifications.

REMEMBER: Full details about the required distances between outdoor chemical stores, and protected, onsite protected and public places, are listed in the Australian Standards for the relevant dangerous goods class that you’re storing.

The impact of incidents such as fires, explosions, toxic vapours and chemical spills will be minimised for the surrounding community due to the separation distances that are required for outdoor chemical stores. Therefore, it’s both a safety and a compliance issue that’s a key consideration when planning out the location of your outdoor dangerous goods storage areas.

fire safety 1

To reduce risk to the community, many classes of dangerous goods, such as Class 3 Flammable Liquids, are subject to separation requirements.

What Dangerous Goods Classes Require Separation Distances?

Many classes of dangerous goods must be stored in an outdoor location that’s separated from protected, onsite protected and/or public places.

These dangerous goods classes include:

In the next section of this blog, we’ll go into further detail about the separation requirements for each class.

Flammable Liquids Separation Requirements

Flammable liquids pose a range of risks including fire, explosion and hazardous vapours. The requirements for separation are extensive for Class 3 liquids due to these risks. Requirements include separation from protected, onsite and public places, as well as isolation from ignition sources and segregation from incompatible substances.

Below are just some of the required separation distances from package stores (maximum capacity listed as m3 (kL) to protected places and public places.

Separation distances from Flammable Liquids (PG I, II, III) to protected places:

Flam. Liquids Class  Flam. Liquids Class Min. Distance
PG I, PG II  PG III  
0.1 0.5 unrestricted
1m3 (kL)  4m3 (kL)  3m
2 8 4m
4 16 5m
7 28 6m

*for further quantities and requirements, please see AS 1940:2017

Separation distances from Flammable Liquids (PG I, II, III) to public places:

Type Of Store    Min. Distance
Storage area for closed flammable liquids packages 3m
Area where flammable liquids packages are opened 8m

 

flammable liquids-1-1

Some classes of dangerous goods must be separated from protected and public places to minimise risk to the local community.

Flammable Solids Separation Requirements       

Due to the chemical’s ability to easily ignite, Class 4 Flammable Solids package stores must be separated from protected places and boundaries by the following distances:                                                   

Aggregate quantity kg/L A B D
minor storage less than 250 10m 5m 4m 3m
250-2000   16m 10m 6m  6m
2000-20,000    20m 12m 10m 6m

*for further quantities and requirements, please see AS NZS 5026

Oxidizing Agents Separation Requirements

While these substances are not necessarily combustible, oxidizing agents can contribute to the combustion of other material. Therefore, Division 5.1 substances must be separated from protected places and boundaries by the minimum distance.

The following requirements apply to package stores of oxidizing agents (not including ammonium nitrate):

Aggregate quantity kg/L PG 1 PG II  PG III
Less than 1,000 5m 3m   0*
1,000-10,000 8m 5m 3m
10,000-50,000  10m 8m 5m

*for further quantities and details of the requirements, please see AS 4326:2008

Organic Peroxides Separation Requirements

Package stores for Division 5.2 Organic Peroxides are subject to separation requirements from protected places, boundaries and onsite protected places. You must also adhere to requirements for separation from other classes of dangerous goods and incompatible substances.

To property boundary adjoining public street or railway line:                                      

Type kg/L Unsprinklered store  Sprinklered store
B 250 10m 5m
  500 15m 5m
  1,500 35m 7.5m
  2,500 45m 10m
  5,000 75m 15m
C, D, or E 250 3m 3m
  500 3m 3m
  1,000 4m 4m
  2,500 5m 5m
  5,000 6m 6m
F 1,000 3m 3m
  2,000 4m 4m
  5,000 5m 5m

*for further quantities and requirements, please see AS 2714:2008

To protected places and boundaries adjoining another property:

Type kg/L Unsprinklered store Sprinklered store
B 250 20m 5m
  500 30m 7.5m
  1,500 70m 15m
  2,500 90m 20m
  5,000 150m 30m
C, D, or E 250 5m 3m
  500 7m 3m
  1,000 8m 4m
  2,500 9m 5m
  5,000 10m 6m
F 1,000 3m 3m
  2,000 4m 4m
  5,000 5m 5m

*for further quantities and requirements, please see AS 2714:2008

Corrosive Substances Separation Requirements

All package stores of Class 8 Corrosive Substances must be separated from protected places. The minimum distances are set out in the table below:

Corrosives stores where packages are opened:

PG I  10m
PG II    5m
PG III 3m

                     

Chemical stores where packages remain closed:

PG I  5m
PG II  3m
PG III     3m

Reducing Risk With Outdoor Chemical Storage

As we’ve highlighted in this blog, there are various classes and divisions of dangerous goods that are subject to the requirements for separation distances from protected places and public places. Always refer to the Australian Standards for your particular class of dangerous good, to determine the storage and handling requirements for your chemicals — including the separation distances that pertain to your outdoor stores.

If you’d like to learn more about risk reduction, we have an eBook that will guide you through the process. Controlling Risks Associated With Hazardous Chemicals will introduce you to our simple and effective risk control methodology, which will enable you to create a safer workplace through achieving chemical compliance. Get your copy for free today by simply clicking on the image below.

Controlling Risks Associated with Hazardous Chemicals

 

Walter Ingles

Walter Ingles Compliance Specialist

Walter is STOREMASTA’s Dangerous Goods Storage Specialist. He helps organisations reduce risk and improve efficiencies in the storage and management of dangerous goods and hazardous chemicals.

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