Weekly maintenance checks for your flammable liquid’s cabinet 

Oct 21, 2019 Posted by Walter Ingles

Your Class 3 Flammable Liquids cabinet can quickly fall into disrepair and non-compliance without regular maintenance and compliance checks. In this week’s blog we’ve put together a basic checklist to include in your weekly inspection reports and compliance audits. We cover everything from cabinet compliance and integrity, to basic housekeeping and spill response. 

REMEMBER: Sections 37-38 of Australian WHS Regulations (maintenance and review of control measures) also applies to flammable liquids cabinets and other engineering controls. You must ensure that any hazard control measure remains fit for purpose, suited to the nature of the work, as well as set up and used correctly. 


1. Compliance checks

The first section of your inspection checklist should focus on cabinet compliance with Australian Standard AS1940:2017 –- The storage and handling of flammable and combustible liquids. For example: 

  • Not loaded past capacity rating (check markings on front of cabinet). 
  • Not more than 2 x drums (over 60 litres) in any stack. 
  • Not more than 1 x drum (over 60 litres) resting in the decanting (horizontal) position. 
  • All markings and signage completely visible when cabinet doors are closed. 
  • All signs and markings are in place: 
  • Dangerous Goods label 
  • Maximum storage capacity 
  • Name and address of manufacturer/importer/distributor 
  • All containers inside the cabinet are sealed, have lids in place, or fitted with taps. 
  • No ignition sources inside the cabinet. 
  • No ignition sources brought within 3 metres of the cabinet. 
  • Nothing stored in the lower spill compound. 
  • Self-closing doors are not propped open. 
  • Only flammable or combustible liquids are stored inside the cabinet. 
  • No damage to the cabinet or componentry that could compromise the cabinets thermal barrier. 
  • Register of Hazardous Chemicals is immediately accessible to workers. 
  • First aid equipment, safety shower and eyewash units are fully operational and can be reached within 10 seconds. 
  • Cabinets that hold more than 250 litres are not installed against a common wall or stand taller than 2 metres from the floor/ground level. 
  • No single cabinet holds more than 850 litres of flammable liquids. 

REMEMBER: An indoor flammable liquids cabinet is designed to fully contain the liquid chemicals and their vapours, plus offer two-way fire protection (up to 850°C or 10 minutes of fire safety). 


2. Cabinet integrity

Next, check for anything that could indicate the structural integrity of the cabinet has been compromised. Chips in the powder coat finish, or rain from a leaking roof above the cabinet could cause the cabinet to rust or corrode. We suggest the following inclusions: 

  • Cabinet is completely level and doors close automatically (and in sequence). 
  • No scratches or chips in powder coating. 
  • No evidence of water penetrating the inside of the cabinet. 
  • Cabinet is free of dents or impact damage. 
  • Seams between walls, floor, roof, and doors are intact — no evidence of damage. 
  • Shelves are stable and no makeshift implements, componentry, or shelves are being used 

REMEMBER: All STOREMATA flammable liquids cabinets are manufactured here in Australia by our in-house designs, engineers and technicians. We carry a fully range of spare parts and add-ons for our cabinets to ensure they remain at maximum efficiency and 100% compliance. 


3. Leaks and spills

Your cabinet is designed to act as a liquid tight spill containment system so your inspection checklist should have additional checks including: 

  • No evidence of leaking, damaged or broken chemical containers. 
  • Chemical residues and spills are cleaned up immediately.  
  • Vent bung is intact and does not need replacing. 
  • Spill trays are clean and do not need replacing. 
  • Shelving is wiped clean and clear of any chemical residues. 
  • Sump plug creates a complete seal and does not need replacing. 

REMEMBER: Section 357 of Australian WHS Regulations (Containing and Managing Spills) requires you to have spill management systems and procedures in place for the chemicals as well as any resulting effluent. 


4. Housekeeping

Finally, inspect the surrounding area to ensure that housekeeping procedures are in place and being followed. Your checklist should include checks for: 

  • Top of the cabinet is not being used as a shelf for combustibles or other chemicals (eg, loose documents, decanting systems, oil or fuel drums). 
  • Sundry equipment, signage, pallets and other items are not leaned up against the cabinet and blocking the warning signs. 
  • No chemical orders or deliveries sitting next to the cabinet waiting to be put away. 
  • Lighting in the area is clear and consistently illuminating warning signs and markings. 
  • No vehicles are parked in front of the cabinet that could impede access, blog signage, or place a barrier between the chemicals and the safety shower/first aid kit/eyewash. 


Next steps 

Are your flammable liquids cabinets properly maintained? Are they installed correctly? Loaded properly? And regularly inspected for integrity, compliance, and efficiency? If not, we recommend downloading our free eBook Essential Considerations When Storing Flammable Liquids Indoors. It details the compliance requirements of an indoors flammable liquids cabinet and has a full section on maintenance and upkeep. Download and read it today by clicking on the image below: 

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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