Chemical Warehouse Safety-Importance of safety in hazardous chemical warehouses

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Miami, July 21, 2013– This post will give you a brief introduction about warehouse safety. More specifically, warehouse safety for hazardous chemical storage.

Warehousing is an essential part of the product life cycle.  Warehouse is an intermediate stop between manufacturing and customers. The warehouse stocks the products, preserves the products and delivers the products to customers.  Hence, special attention should be given to warehousing activities.

The warehouse is an important part of any manufacturing operation or industrial plant. Some warehouses are part of the industrial plant or manufacturing site itself, whereas others may be free standing facilities by themselves, such as distribution warehouses or those warehouses that are built close to shipping docks. Whichever place it is located in, the warehouse that stores hazardous chemicals has some special safety needs, many more than those for “normal” warehouses. Thus for example  a grain storage warehouse will also have some safety aspects but not as many as those that concern the storage of a pesticide. Thus pesticide storage will have to be handled much more carefully than grain storage .

A warehouse that stores hazardous chemicals such as for examples , pesticides, chemical fertilizers, flammable materials such as solvents & cleaners, industrial chemicals, dyes, explosives and other hazardous chemicals, needs many more stringent measures to remain safe (as compared to a warehouse storing ordinary non hazardous materials). This is because these materials may have health, safety and environmental hazards.  Warehouse design should aim at desired utility of space, orderly storage of products, product storage according to hazard, safe warehouse operations and emergency handling, and security of warehouse.  Above all, one should consider relevant regulations/ rules for compliance of laws and of specific standards.

There have been several accidents and undesirable incidents in the past, related to chemical warehouses. Sometimes the materials stored may catch fire, or they may inadvertently pollute the environment or they may harm humans working inside, or in the vicinity. The warehouse design and operations have to be such that such incidents should be completely eliminated to the largest possible extent.

Can we design and operate warehouses that store hazardous materials safely? Of course we can, provided one follows good design and engineering principles for safe warehouse design. Training is available for implementing these guidelines so that we can minimize the possibility of accidents and incidents that can damage the environment, as well as products and people. Training in warehouse safety should be an integral part of all supply chain management operations.