How To Safely Store Dangerous Goods

Dangerous goods pose significant risks to a worksite’s staff, property and environment, and must be stored in secure, compliant and purpose-built containers.

The design and construction of dangerous goods storage cabinets vary based on the specific hazardous substance they are designed to store and the requirements of the relevant Australian Standards.

Big Safety provide safe storage solutions for:

A thorough risk assessment should be carried out to identify each type of dangerous substance that will require storage, and associated risks should be managed using the hierarchy of control.

Some of the risks associated with the unsafe storage of dangerous goods include health hazards like burns, poisoning and carcinogenicity, physical hazards such as explosions, fire and corrosion, and broader business risks including property damage, decreased productivity, financial liability and reputation damage.

Where elimination or substitution of hazardous substances is not reasonably practicable, a premium brand dangerous goods storage cabinet will help to ensure positive safety outcomes.

Dangerous goods should be identified, segregated, and matched with a purpose-built cabinet that complies with the Australian Standard related to that substance.

Segregate Your Dangerous Goods:

The segregation of dangerous goods is important to avoid dangerous reactions between incompatible materials. You should always consult the safety data sheet (SDS) for each hazardous substance, which will outline storage, handling and disposal guidelines as well as potential reactivity and incompatibility. Additionally, you can use this Segregation Tool to help minimise the risk of storing incompatible chemicals and goods.

The relevant Australian Standard and key design requirements for the storage of each class of dangerous material are outlined below. While Australian Standards are not law, they are accepted as crucial for meeting legislative requirements. The below is a guide only and Standards should be reviewed in full to ensure compliance. 

Flammable Liquids

Cabinet requirements as per AS 1940: 2017 - The storage and handling of flammable and combustible liquids:

  • A double walled sheet construction with at least 40mm between the walls
  • Self-closing doors that latch at two separate points
  • Base should form a liquid tight spill containment sump that is at least 150mm deep

Corrosive Goods

Cabinet requirements as per AS 3780:2008 - The storage and handling of corrosive substances:

  • Self-closing doors that latch at two separate points and open outwards
  • Liquid-tight spill containment sump must be capable of holding at least 25% of maximum capacity

Toxic Goods

Cabinet requirements as per AS 4452:1997 - The storage and handling of toxic substances:

  • Walls, door, floor and roof should be double walled sheet steel at least 0.75mm thick and with 40mm gap between walls
  • Lockable self-closing doors
  • Spill sump must be capable of holding 25% of cabinet capacity

Pesticides

Cabinet requirements as per AS 2507:1998 - The storage and handling of pesticides:

  • Must be constructed of fire resistant materials
  • Should be well ventilated
  • Floor should have raised edges so spills can be contained

Organic peroxides

Cabinet requirements as per AS 2714:2008 - The storage and handling of organic peroxides:

  • Double walled sheet construction with sheets at least 0.75mm thick and minimum 40mm between walls
  • Doors that automatically release Doors should automatically close and be capable of realising automatically in the event of built up pressure within the cabinet
  • Spill containment sump at least 150mm deep

Gas cylinders

Cage requirements as per AS 4332: 2004 - The storage and handling of gases in cylinders:

  • Constructed of non-combustible materials
  • Level base to ensure cylinder stability
  • Restraint bars or chains to prevent cylinders falling over
  • Doors must open outwards or upwards in case of roller door

 

For more information on the safe storage of dangerous goods, read our guide to buying dangerous goods storage cabinets or contact Big Safety to discuss your requirements.

Dangerous goods storage cabinets