This is a one-stop location for all your secondary containment information needs.
Safe chemical storage is required by specific federal regulations to protect humans, animals, property, and the environment. Hazardous materials—including biological, chemical and radiological substances—can threaten health and safety if they leak or spill from their primary storage container.
That’s why regulators, such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) set regulations for chemical storage. EPA and OSHA regulations require secondary containment, which provides a back-up containment method to prevent hazardous spills in the event a primary containment method fails.
According to OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard (HCS), a hazardous chemical is any chemical which can cause a physical or health hazard. This determination is made by the chemical manufacturer, as described in 29 CFR 1910.1200(d).
Examples of hazardous materials include:
Injuries can result from improperly transporting or containing chemicals. According to OSHA guidelines, workers should be aware of unsafe practices, such as improper handling and unhealthy situations. Hazardous chemicals pose health and safety risks even when workers are not transporting them.
OSHA’s basic legal requirements for chemical storage include the following:
OSHA recommends workers follow certain steps to prevent hazards when storing chemicals1:
It’s important to understand chemical reactions and the risks involved with chemical containment. If you need to store chemicals in a small space, academic laboratory or stockroom, avoid storing chemicals on the floor or within close proximity to incompatible materials.
Store liquids in unbreakable packaging located inside a form of secondary containment, such as a chemical storage cabinet. Use clear labeling and secure the secondary containment method to prevent unauthorized access.
Storing incompatible chemicals too close together can create a dangerous fire, explosion or toxic release. Here are five common chemicals and their incompatible counterparts.
Learn more about chemical storage as defined by OSHA’s Safety Data Sheets, including details about incompatible chemical storage.
Yes, OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) requires employers make a chemical inventory list of hazardous chemicals in the workplace. Inventory lists ensure employees have access to chemical property information, first aid instructions, emergency procedures and disposal practices.
Solve compliance issues and stay ahead of regulation requirements with the right containment solution when you rely on Polystar for industry-trusted products. Our spill prevention and secondary containment systems help you eliminate future regulation failures and remain equipped for mandatory audits.
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- John Hite, A & A Construction, Inc.
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- Deborah K. Whitley (Deb) Fort Bragg, N.C. Bladder Dike MPE Utilized by Special Forces Overseas.