For many corporations in Australia, chemicals are an integral component of their manufacturing processes. Industries such as hospitality, FMGC, packaging, manufacturing, and medicine heavily rely on the use of chemicals which, in turn, poses several workplace safety hazards.
To mitigate the risk of accidents and injury at the workplace, purpose-built equipment needs to be used. Corrosives need to be handled using specialised tools — some of which are even mandated by law.
The Australian Standard AS 3780 states the minimum acceptable safety requirements for companies that work with chemicals; these requirements have a lot to do with the cabinets used for storage.
Here at BIG Safety, we stock industry-leading safety equipment to keep your workplace and your employees safe.
The Australian Dangerous Goods Code classifies corrosive chemicals as Class 8 Corrosive Substances. In order to understand what exactly corrosive substances are, consider this definition:
“A corrosive substance is one that will damage or destroy other substances with which it comes into contact by means of a chemical reaction.”
Understandably, these substances need to be dealt with utmost care and a stringent safety protocol needs to be followed.
Special Considerations for Storage
One of the first and foremost considerations that you should make before purchasing a storage cabinet is the properties of the chemicals in use. Knowing exactly what you’re dealing with is vital when handling these substances. Consider asking the following questions:
Is the chemical corrosive?
Is it flammable?
Is it light-sensitive?
Does it need any specific temperature regulation?
Even the compatibility of your chemicals with the cabinet material should be looked into. For example, strong acids such as sulfuric acid, chromic acid, hydrochloric acid or bases such as ammonium hydroxide and sodium hydroxide are extremely corrosive in nature — these chemicals should not be stored in metal cabinets as they’ll most likely get corroded and wear out prematurely.
Polyethylene cabinets, or any non-metallic / epoxy-painted options, are a much better choice for storing corrosives. Not only will these resist corrosion, but they’ll also last a lot longer than metal cabinets.
For flammable liquids, however, metal cabinets are a good choice as they’re good insulators of heat and they’d do a good job in minimising risk in the event of a spill or an accident.
Chemical Storage Cabinets: Features to Look For
When choosing the right cabinet, its design needs to be carefully considered. Some of the must-have safety features include:
Spillage sump to contain leaks
Perforation for ventilation
Adjustable feet for perfect leveling on uneven surfaces
Self-closing right-hand door
Locking mechanism + failsafe
Our lineup of Justrite cabinets contains all of the above-mentioned features. Explore the range below.