Proper storage of chemicals is very important not only for the purpose of efficiency but most of all, safety. Whether in research amounts of commercial quantities, chemicals that are not stored properly can be very unsafe. This is why different industries are encouraged to use chemical storage cabinets, especially in chemical engineering laboratories. This is something that needs to be taken seriously and diligently to avoid unwanted accidents and to protect the entire facility. It is also important to keep in mind some of the best practices when it comes to storing chemicals such as the ones below.
One of the main causes for concern is the improper labeling of products. It is not enough that you only assume that a shipment of chemicals is labeled properly. In this case, you need to open every box and inspect each container so you can make sure that all labels are correct, both in amount and name. if the shipment happens to contain different containers of chemicals, each of them need to be individually labeled in case of division when storing them. The labels should have the name of the compound, lot number, quantity, and the chemical’s hazard if applicable.
Specialized Storage Containers
Highly odorous and volatile chemicals need to be stored in a well-ventilated chemical storage cabinet that comes with a locking mechanism. Most of all, the ventilation flume should be kept free of blockage to guarantee proper air flow. For acids, they need to be stored in cabinets that are specifically designed for them. Also, only similar hazard acids can be stored next to them. For flammable materials, especially those that have quantities that are more than a few gallons, they should be kept on their own flammable material room or storage cabinet.
Standard operating procedures or SOPs need to be clear to every employee and any visitor of the lab. They need to be posted throughout the area and regular audits should be done to make sure that all chemical handlers are managing the safety protocols properly. It is also important that everyone strictly follow rules such as not storing chemicals higher than eye level, transferring subdivided chemicals to smaller containers, and using drip catchers. The best way to store chemicals is to diligently follow the set protocols.
In addition, there is also some measure of errors committed by humans that often involve the handling and storing of chemicals. Education and preparation are very important. By keeping these things in mind, you will not only ensure your personal safety but even those of other people and the entire laboratory. This will also help avoid any injury and unwanted accidents so you need not worry about incurring unexpected costs.