Posted on Leave a comment

When you cover CHEMICAL storage in GHS what did everyone review in Safety at your business


Before Proper Chemical Storage you need a little chemical safety reminder to get things going!

Your, Chemical Storage Procedures have been developed in order to minimize the risk of accidental chemical reactions and exposure resulting from the improper storage of hazardous chemicals.  Chemical Safety Practices and Procedures

Using smaller quantities of hazardous chemicals or substituting a less hazardous chemical reduces the risk of serious exposure or spill. When planning your work, consider the following possibilities:

  1. Substituting less hazardous chemicals;
  2. Using less;
  3. Ordering only what is needed; and
  4. Sharing chemicals when possible.

Use the safety equipment and personal protective equipment (PPE) recommended as listed on container labels or SDSs for a particular material or procedure.

Use Recommended Engineering Controls 

If the release of a hazardous vapor, mist, gas, or dust is possible, perform the work using the appropriate engineering control, such as a chemical fume hood, glove box, or vented biosafety cabinet. Take the time to label temporary containers and inspect manufacturers’ labels for thoroughness and accuracy.

Know ABSOLUTELY the Hazard

Review the hazards of the chemicals before using them. Review the Material Safety Data Sheet and this chapter for safe handling procedures and PPE recommendations. Be prepared for a spill or an exposure involving the hazardous chemical. Know the location of the nearest eyewash and emergency shower.

Unattended Operations

Experiments involving heat generating devices must never be left unattended. For other experiments left unattended, plan for interruption in utility services, such as electricity, cooling water, and gas. Place a sign near operations warning others of potential hazards and list emergency procedures to follow. Whenever possible, have someone check operations periodically.

Plan Carefully and Anticipate New Hazards

At the beginning of an extended project, formally analyze the procedures for possible hazards and consider the consequences. Ask a colleague to review the hazard analysis.

Do Not Work Alone

Do not work alone if your work requires the use of hazardous materials or hazardous processes. At a minimum, a second person should be aware of an individual working alone in the lab and arrangements should be made for periodic checks. Excessively long work hours increase the likelihood of mistakes and accidents due to fatigue.

Report Spills to EH&S

Report all spills, accidents and injuries to EH&S and complete an Accident/Illness Report.  Follow good housekeeping practices. Maintain work areas in an orderly fashion. Avoid accumulation of combustible materials. Cluttered areas increase the likelihood of accidents and injuries.

Do Not Rely on Odor as an Indicator of Exposure

The absence of odor is not a reliable guide to a safe concentration of airborne chemical in the lab. Concentrations detectable by odor vary according to the chemical and the ability of the individual to smell the chemical. Never rely on odor to determine exposure hazard.

Exposure Monitoring

If you are concerned about your chemical exposure or are experiencing symptoms associated with exposure to a chemical, contact EH&S for an exposure evaluation.

Company and SDS   Food and Drink Policy

Never smell or taste chemicals to identify them. Wash your hands immediately after using any hazardous material and before leaving the lab. Never pipette or siphon liquids by mouth.

Do not eat, drink, or apply cosmetics in the lab. Do not store food or drinks in a lab refrigerator or in a cold room.

Prevent Chemical Releases in Cold Rooms

Do not store chemicals in cold rooms. Take all precautions to prevent material releases in cold rooms. Most cold rooms do not have ventilation; some have very little. Therefore, chemical vapors or fumes will not be diluted, which could cause an exposure hazard. Avoid storage of cellulose materials such as paper and cardboard to prevent fungal growth. For example, use plastic tubs instead of cardboard boxes.

Explosion Shielding

Use an explosion shield or other protective enclosure if there is a possibility of a violent reaction. Do not overlook the possibility that scaling up or heating a process will change the safety parameters.

Vent Apparatus

Vent equipment or containers which discharge vapors (vacuum pumps, distillation columns) into chemical fume hoods or through appropriate filters.

Centrifuge Safety where applicable

Centrifuges come in three general classes: low speed (up to about 5000 rpm), high speed (up to about 25,000 rpm), and ultracentrifuges (up to 100,000 rpm). Rotors on centrifuge and ultracentrifuge units are subjected to powerful mechanical stresses that may cause metal fatigue over time. This can lead to rotor failure presenting two serious hazards: mechanical failure and dispersion of aerosols. Approximately 90% of rotor incidents are due to user error, primarily from failure to put the lid on the rotor, failure to secure the lid, and failure to properly secure the rotor to the drive.

Chemical Disposal and Storage

Chemical Disposal      

Do not mix hazardous wastes. Waste streams must be segregated for safe and cost-effective disposal. Correct disposal instructions are indicated for each chemical. If you do not find the chemical listing in the directory, contact EH&S for disposal information.

Transporting Chemicals within the CompanyProperties

Use safety carriers or secondary containers to transport dangerous chemicals (e.g., strong corrosives, solvents), even for short distances. To move several bottles at once, use a low cart with a substantial rim and segregate hazard classes with tubs. Do not carry hazardous chemicals in stairwells.

Emergency Equipment Checklist

The following emergency equipment must be located within or near the lab. Know the location and operation of the following:

  1. Dry chemical fire extinguisher;
  2. Eyewash;
  3. Emergency shower;
  4. Stocked first aid kit;
  5. Evacuation route map (posted); and
  6. Emergency response instructions (Center Emergency Guide).


Stock containers of chemicals in Company labs must be organized and stored in accordance with the plan outlined on the following pages.

The primary purpose of this plan is to control health or physical hazards posed by chemical compounds during storage in the lab. Specifically, it is designed to:

  1. Protect flammables from ignition;
  2. Minimize the potential of exposure to poisons; and
  3. Segregate incompatible compounds to prevent their accidental mixing.

A Designated Storage Place for Each Compound

Each stock chemical container should have a designated storage place, and should be returned to that same location after each use. Storage locations can be marked on containers.

Do not store stock supplies of chemicals on benchtops where they are unprotected from ignition sources and are more easily knocked over. Only chemicals in use or of low hazard levels (e.g., salts and buffers) are permitted on benchtops.

Do Not Store in Chemical Fume Hood

Do not keep stock supplies of chemicals or waste in chemical fume hoods where they clutter space, interfere with the hood’s airflow, and may increase the risk of a fire in the laboratory.

Seal All Chemical Containers                                                      

All chemical containers must be sealed, including bottles used for waste chemicals. Waste containers must remain sealed except when a worker is actually filling the container with chemical waste.

Alphabetical Only within Storage Groups

Do not store chemicals in alphabetical order except within a storage group. Alphabetical arrangement of randomly collected chemicals often increases the likelihood of dangerous reactions by bringing incompatible materials into close proximity.

Away from Sun and Heat

Storage areas should not be exposed to extremes of heat or sunlight.

Do Not Store Chemicals Under the Sink

Do not store any chemicals except bleach and compatible cleaning agents under the sink.

Label Chemicals Properly

All containers within the lab must be labeled according to the instructions. Suspect and known carcinogens must be labeled as such and segregated within trays to contain leaks and spills.

Safeguard Against Theft

This plan does not require security measures (e.g., locked cabinets) to prevent theft, but lab workers should make sure that lab doors are locked when unattended.

Liquid Chemicals

Storage of liquid chemicals is more hazardous than storage of solids and is subject to numerous and varied storage requirements.

Chemical Storage Groups

Chemicals must be stored in the groups and corresponding facilities described on the following pages.

In this plan, there are nine storage groups. Seven of these groups cover storage of liquids based on the variety of hazards posed by these chemicals. Specific instructions must be followed for metal hydrides (Group 8) and certain individual compounds, but otherwise, all dry solids are in Group 9.

How to Determine the Correct Storage Group for a Chemical

SDS and Legislation gives the correct storage group as well as other important information for each chemical listed. If a chemical in question is not listed in the index, determine the correct storage group by the hazard information on the container label, SDS, or call EH&S.

Multi-Hazard Liquids

Many liquid chemicals pose hazards that correspond to more than one storage group. In the following, liquid storage groups are shown in descending order of hazard. The correct storage group for a multi-hazard chemical is the group that represents the greatest storage hazard, or the group appearing highest in the list.

Ranking Chemical Storage Groups: From Most Hazardous to Least Hazardous

  • Group 1: Flammables
  • Group 2: Volatile Poisons
  • Group 3: Oxidizing Acids
  • Group 4: Organic and Mineral Acids
  • Group 5: Liquid Bases
  • Group 6: Liquid Oxidizers
  • Group 7: Non-Volatile Poisons
  • Group 8: Metal Hydrides
  • Group 9: Dry Solids

Storage Group Definitions

Group 1: Flammable Liquids

Includes liquids with flashpoints < 100°F. Examples include all alcohols, acetone, acetaldehyde, acetonitrile, amyl acetate, benzene, cyclohexane, dimethyldichlorosilane, dioxane, ether, ethyl acetate, histoclad, hexane, hydrazine, methyl butane, picolene, piperidine, propanol, pyridine, some scintillation liquids, all silanes, tetrahydrofuran, toluene, triethylamine, and xylene.

Primary Storage Concern: Protect flammable liquids from ignition.

Acceptable Storage Facilities/Methods:

  • Store in a flammable cabinet, or
  • Store in a flammable-storage refrigerator/freezer.

Compatible Storage Groups: Flammables may be with either Group 2: Volatile Poisons, or Group 5: Liquid Bases, but not with both.

Group 2: Volatile Poisons

Includes poisons, toxics, and select and suspected carcinogens with strong odor or an evaporation rate greater than 1 (butyl acetate = 1). Examples include carbon tetrachloride, chloroform, dimethylformamide, dimethyl sulfate, formamide, formaldehyde, halothane, mercaptoethanol, methylene chloride, and phenol.

Primary Storage Concern: Prevent volatile poison inhalation exposures.

Acceptable Storage Facilities/Methods:

  • Store in a flammable cabinet; or
  • Store containers of less than one liter in a refrigerator.

Compatible Storage Groups: Volatile poisons may be stored with flammables if bases are not present.

Group 3: Oxidizing Acids

All oxidizing acids are highly reactive with most substances and each other.Examples include nitric, sulfuric, perchloric, phosphoric, and chromic acids.

Primary Storage Concern: Prevent contact and reaction between oxidizing acids and other substances and prevent corrosive action on surfaces.

Acceptable Storage Facilities/Methods:

  • Store in a safety cabinet.
  • Each oxidizing acid must be double-contained (i.e., the primary container must be kept inside a canister, tray or tub).

Compatible Storage Groups: Oxidizing acids must be double-contained and should be segregated in their own compartment in a safety cabinet. When quantities are small (e.g., 1 or 2 bottles) they do not warrant a separate compartment. Small quantities may be double-contained and stored with Group 4: Organic and Mineral AcidsStore oxidizing acids on the bottom shelf, below Group 4.

Group 4: Organic and Mineral Acids                           

Organic and mineral acids. Examples include acetic, butyric, formic, glacial acetic, hydrochloric, isobutyric, mercaptoproprionic, proprionic, and trifluoroacetic acids.

Primary Storage Concern: Prevent contact and reaction with bases and oxidizing acids and prevent corrosive action on surfaces.

Acceptable Storage Facilities/Methods:

  • Store in a safety cabinet.

Compatible Storage Groups: Small amounts of double-contained oxidizing acids can be stored in the same compartment with organic acids if the oxidizing acids are stored on the bottom shelf.

Exceptions: Acetic anhydride and trichloroacetic anhydride are corrosive. These acids are very reactive with other acids and shouldnot be stored in this group. It is better to store them with organic compounds in Group 7: Non-Volatile Liquid Poisons. 

Group 5: Liquid Bases

Liquid bases. Examples include sodium hydroxide, ammonium hydroxide, calcium hydroxide, and gluteraldehyde.

Primary Storage Concern: Prevent contact and reaction with acids.

Acceptable Storage Facilities/Methods:

  • In a safety cabinet; or
  • In tubs or trays in normal cabinet.

Compatible Storage Groups: Liquid bases may be stored with flammables in the flammable cabinet if volatile poisons are not stored there.

Group 6: Liquid Oxidizers

Oxidizing liquids react with everything, potentially causing explosions or corrosion of surfaces. Examples include ammonium persulfate and hydrogen peroxide (if greater than or equal to 30%).

Primary Storage Concern: Isolate liquid oxidizers from other substances.

Acceptable Storage Facilities/Methods:

  • Total quantities exceeding three liters must be kept in a cabinet housing no other chemicals.
  • Smaller quantities must be double-contained when stored near other chemicals (e.g., in a refrigerator).

Compatible Storage Groups: There are no compatible storage groups for liquid oxidizers; store liquid oxidizers separately from other chemicals.

Group 7: Non-Volatile Liquid Poisons

Includes highly toxic (LDoral rat < 50 mg/kg) and toxic chemicals (LD50 oral rat < 500 mg/kg), select carcinogens, suspected carcinogens, and mutagens. Examples include acrylamide solutions, Coomassie blue stain, diethylpyrocarbonate, diisopropyl fluorophosphate, uncured epoxy resins, ethidium bromide, and triethanolamine.

Primary Storage Concern: Prevent contact and reaction between non-volatile liquid poisons and other substances.

Acceptable Storage Facilities/Methods:

  • Store in a cabinet or refrigerator (i.e., non-volatile liquid poisons must be enclosed).
  • Do not store on open shelves in the lab or cold room.
  • Liquid poisons in containers larger than one liter must be stored below bench level on shelves closest to the floor. Smaller containers of liquid poison can be stored above bench level only if behind sliding (non-swinging) doors.

Compatible Storage Group: Store non-volatile liquid poisons with non-hazardous liquids (e.g., buffer solutions).

Exceptions: Anhydrides (e.g., acetic and trichloroacetic) are organic acids; however, it is better to store them with this group, since they are highly reactive with other acids.

Group 8: Metal Hydrides

Most metal hydrides react violently with water, some ignite spontaneously in air (pyrophoric).Examples include sodium borohydride, calcium hydride, and lithium aluminum hydride.

Primary Storage Concern: Prevent contact and reaction with liquids and, in some cases, air.

Acceptable Storage Facilities/Methods:

  • Store using secure, waterproof double-containment according to label instructions.
  • Isolate from other storage groups.

Compatible Storage Groups: If securely double-contained to prevent contact with water or air, metal hydrides may be stored in the same area as Group 9: Dry Solids.

Group 9: Dry Solids

Includes all powders, hazardous and non-hazardous. Examples include benzidine, cyanogen bromide, ethylmaleimide, oxalic acid, potassium cyanide, and sodium cyanide.

Primary Storage Concern: Prevent contact and potential reaction with liquids.

Acceptable Storage Facilities/Methods:

  • Cabinets are recommended, but if not available, open shelves are acceptable.
  • Store above liquids.
  • Warning labels on highly toxic powders should be inspected and highlighted or amended to stand out against less toxic substances in this group.
  • It is recommended that the most hazardous substances in this group be segregated.
  • It is particularly important to keep liquid poisons below cyanide-containing or sulfide-containing poisons (solids); a spill of aqueous liquid onto cyanide-containing or sulfide-containing poisons would cause a reaction that would release poisonous gas.

Compatible Storage Groups: Metal hydrides, if properly double-contained, may be stored in the same area as dry solids.

Terry Penney

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.