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How to Store Chemicals Safely?

14 Aug, 2020

How to Store Chemicals Safely?

An estimated total of 57, 975 chemical incidents have been reported to have taken place across global states, during a ten year surveillance period. A chemical compound is mainly composed of a specific set of atoms or ions. This compound is formed with a combination of two or more elements into one single substance. Although all compounds can be stated as substances, not all materials necessarily are compounds. It can either be atoms that are bonded together in one place, in crystals or molecules where molecules, atoms, or ions tend to form a crystalline lattice.

Chemical compounds are primarily classified into two distinct broad groups: Molecular compounds and ionic compounds. The former compounds comprise atoms that are amalgamated by covalent bonds, while a different formula can be represented. On the other hand, the ionic compounds are composed of ions merged by ionic bonding, with the method being written with the help of an oxidation state.

What are the Organic and Inorganic Compounds?

Compounds are typically classified into two groups, organic and inorganic.

1) Organic Compounds:

They are named such as most of them have initially isolated from the living organisms and comprise rings or chains of carbon atoms. This scenario leads to the invigoration of nine million organic elements due to the several ways in which carbon can essentially bond with itself and significant other features.

2) Inorganic Compounds:

On the other hand, compounds that are not considered to be organic are known as inorganic compounds. Several substances are primarily based on distinctive elements or groups of thriving aspects within the broad classification of inorganic and natural materials.

Organic and inorganic compounds form the foundation basis of chemistry. The significant difference between these compounds is the presence of carbon in organic compounds and the absence of carbon in their counterparts. Moreover, all organic compounds comprise carbon-hydrogen, also known as C-H bonds. Molecules associated with living organisms refer to natural and include fats, acids, proteins, sugars, hydrocarbon fuels, enzymes, and more. On the other hand, the organic molecules comprise carbon and contain hydrogen, while several even comprise oxygen.

Related Article >> What are the Organic and Inorganic Compounds?

Tips to Share Chemicals Safely

Specific chemical hygiene plans are outlined to explain the protocols, processes, tools, and equipment to be taken into consideration during chemical handling. Similar to several safety plans, there are written documents that require constant review and updating. Plans or ideas are, although quite specific to the laboratories, the processes and chemicals used; however, a few universal tips are applicable for minimizing chemical exposure across laboratories.

Let us explore a few tips to share chemicals effectively that promote a chemical hygiene plan while safeguarding workers’ safety.

  • Utilize General SOPs:
  • Chemicals comprise an innovative set of hazards that need to be handled well to ensure optimum safety. However, laboratories handling various chemicals while establishing a distinctive protocol tend to increase the likelihood of mishandling exposure. Hence, an SOP or a standard operating procedure helps to address the correct usage of personal protective equipment, safe use, safe handling, and proper disposal. It is also beneficial to make use of flip charts and signs along with other literature efficiently capable enough to remind workers of the potential hazards.

  • Airflow:
  • It is a standard plethora for the air quality in laboratories to get compromised, which further makes ventilation a vital consideration to ponder upon. It is crucial to propagate an airflow system to offer at least 8 to 10 air change-outs on an hourly basis, with the space being completely occupied.

    Additionally, another great way to share chemicals is to add exhaust hoods, which increase safety. The hoods consist of a monitoring device, equipped to regularly allow a convenient confirmation of several adequate hood performance before its usage.

  • Safety Equipment:
  • The container and signs labels help to reinforce safety while mainly serves as a constant reminder of protected handling, use, and disposal measures. It is essential to maintain an optimum eyewash station, fire extinguisher, drench shower, and first aid kits for enabling workers to access the tools during emergencies of any kind. This scenario furthermore will help to reduce the impact of the exposure caused.

    Steps to Store Chemicals Safely with Precise Measures and Following Norms:

    Chemical storing is all about safety, the right precautionary measure, and norms that minimize hazards. Although not every solution works for every kind of chemical plant, adhering by a few can help acquire much-needed safety. Let us explore a few of the best steps to storing chemicals safely.

    A. Evaluate the Substances being Used:

    This scenario is actually the first and foremost step that needs to be taken into consideration. It is imperative to identify and evaluate each substance used to gain a deeper understanding of the properties and the hazards. It is recommended to analyze the product and its features, whether toxic, flammable, or corrosive. Additionally, reassess whether it is incompatible or affects negatively. This scenario will help you to take the correct measure, depending on the substance being used.

    B. Analyze the Risks Associated:

    To identify the kind of chemical being used, you need to assess them more closely and evaluate the associated risks. You need to consider several things, as mentioned in the following:

  • Assess whether the substance offers any risk of explosion or fire
  • Analyze whether it poses any risk of a gas leak
  • Check whether there lies any risk of corrosives that can potentially damage the laboratory, plant or building extensively
  • Evaluate the risks associated with the substances and spill if caused
  • This assessment will help you create a master list specifying each chemical used onsite, and then you can move towards working your way to safeguarding against the possible hazards.

    C. Keep Everything Labeled:

    You cannot assume your workers know everything contained within the chemical drum. Hence, you must label everything and eliminate unnecessary guesswork. The labeling should refer to the chemical, the chemical hazards, and the storage norms. Similarly, the facility also should incorporate designs, wherever needed. This scenario helps employees to identify the risks and analyze the safety protocols to undertake, even during emergencies.

    Related Article >> Which is the Best Option to Store Chemicals? Metal Container vs Plastic Container

    Moving Forward

    Shanti Inorgochem, one of the largest producers of Sodium Bisulphite, is equipped with the right storage practices to store chemicals safely, reduce workplace hazards, and promote workplace well-being.

    Written by: Avanish Patel

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