Storing flammable liquids, PPE, and Safety Data Sheets  

Oct 21, 2019 Posted by Walter Ingles

Every day we see all sorts of weird stuff being put into chemical safety cabinets. We’ve even seen containers of flammable liquids sitting on the ground next to the safety cabinet because the cabinet was full — of combustibles and non-hazardous substances. In this quick blog we’ll demonstrate an easy system for keeping flammable liquids stored safely (indoors) and in compliance with AS1940:2017 –- The storage and handling of flammable and combustible liquids as well as Australian WHS Regulations. 

REMEMBER: It is a requirement of Section 363 of Australian WHS Regulations to ensure that any system installed at the workplace for storing hazardous chemicals (eg, safety cabinets) is only used for the purpose for which it was designed and manufactured (eg, storing flammable liquids). 


Flammable liquids 

First keep your flammable liquids in a dedicated cabinet manufactured to Australian Safety Standards. Indoor flammable liquids cabinets are made from double-walled sheet steel and have componentry that can withstand at least 850°C. Their self-closing doors and liquid tight spill compound are specifically designed to contain flammable vapours, spilled liquids and harmful fumes.  

It’s high-tech equipment, so you don’t want to waste the space inside the cabinet on PPE, Safety Data Sheets, cardboard packaging, rags, paintbrushes, cleaning equipment or non-hazardous substances. For workplace efficiency (and to maximise your investment) ensure that: 

  • Chemical deliveries are processed and put into the cabinet immediately. 
  • Cabinet is loaded to capacity (no more) with drums, tins, and containers stacked in a way that does not interfere with the door closing mechanisms or spill compound. 
  • Only flammable or combustible liquids are stored in the cabinet. 
  • Ignition sources (electronic gadgets, lighting, matches, lighters etc) are never placed inside the cabinet. 


Personal Protective Equipment 

Workers who decant or handle flammable liquids require Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to protect their eyes, face, hands, ears, feet, — and other parts of the body from being splashed or exposed to hazardous chemicals. Naturally your workers want their PPE and protective clothing to be on hand as they carry out their duties, but don’t keep your PPE inside the flammable liquid’s cabinet. 

PPE, clothing, first aid kits, and other safety gear (that’s combustible) is best stored in a dedicated PPE cabinet. STOREMASTA PPE storage cabinets are made from heavy duty sheet steel and finished with a high build powder coat. This protects the cabinet (and the expensive contents) from water, dust and corrosion.  

PPE cabinets come in a range of sizes to suit any worksite: 

  • X-Large double-door 1795 x 920 x 476 (4 storage levels) 
  • Tall single-door 1192 x 545 x 375 (3 storage levels) 
  • Wide double-door 1192 x 1162 x 375 (3 storage levels) 
  • Medium single-door 1492 x 545 x 375 (3 storage levels) 
  • Small single-door 702 x 546 x 375 (3 storage levels) 

STOREMASTA PPE storage cabinets already have safety signage in place and are key lockable (using L-handles). All our cabinets are designed and manufactured right here in Australia by our own team of designers, Dangerous Goods specialists and engineers. 


Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) 

It’s a requirement of Section 346 of Australian WHS Regulations to keep a Register of Hazardous Chemicals that is immediately accessible to anyone or who uses (or is exposed) to the chemicals. The Register is a list of chemical names, as well as the Safety Data Sheets for each of the substances. 

The purpose of the Register is to have critical safety, storage, and first aid information on hand — if workers need to act quickly responding to a spill, dangerous reaction, or exposure injury. The Register needs to be located somewhere that is easily accessible to workers, but secure enough so the information is always up-to-date and intact. 

It’s good work practice to have a master list that contains the names and Safety Data Sheets of every hazardous chemical and substance onsite, then create smaller Registers that only contains the information relating to satellite clusters or aggregate quantities. 

In line with this practice we recommend creating a smaller Register for each flammable liquids cabinet (or aggregate quantity) and place in a purpose-built Document Box. The document boxes are sturdy and will keep the Register and SDSs inside free from dust, dirt and water. STOREMASTA document boxes are made from corrosive-resistant materials and can be securely fastened to your flammable liquid’s cabinet. 

IMPORTANT: don’t keep you Register of Hazardous Chemicals inside the Flammable Liquids cabinet. You need the data to be immediately available to workers in an emergency, plus the box and the documents are combustible. Don’t waste valuable storage space on combustibles and non-hazardous materials. 

Next steps 

For critical information regarding flammable liquids storage, please download our latest eBook Essential Considerations When Storing Flammable Liquids Indoors. You’ll have all the tools you need to carry out a risk assessment on your chemical storage areas which considers the proximity of other materials and substances. Download and read it today, it’s completely free. 

Essential Considerations when Storing Flammable Liquids Indoors download Free eBook

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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