There are many chemicals and potentially dangerous materials employed within the cleaning industry, and the handling and storage of these chemicals – or rather, the mishandling of these chemicals – can have major consequences! These products need to be stored and handled professionally and correctly to maintain safety for both staff and property. Here are some considerations with regards to the correct procedures for the safe keeping and use of any chemicals or cleaning products:
Devise a Safety Program
The first consideration in handling and storing chemicals is, of course, safety. A safety program should be devised and established upfront – following and adhering to this strict chemical safety program is paramount. Your safety program should consist of a complete list of all cleaning chemicals used in the environment and a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for each product, along with documentation of any potential hazards associated with each chemical. Your program should also ensure that all cleaning products are correctly and clearly labelled, and that safety signage is appropriately placed and visible around the area.
Training Staff For Awareness and Competence
Training your staff in the correct handling and storage procedures for chemicals is very important. By nature, many chemicals are potentially dangerous as they may be corrosive and/or flammable, so any misuse or incorrect handling can have dangerous consequences – ensure all employees are familiar with the appropriate “signal words” and where to find them on the chemical containers. The standard signal words are:
- Caution – the product is relatively safe but should be handled carefully.
- Warning – the product is moderately or mildly toxic
- Danger – the product is highly toxic and therefore dangerous
Considering Your Storage Location
The best documentation and training will be of little value if the chemicals are not correctly stored in a relevant and safe location. These identified locations should also be part of your Safety Program – considerations and specifications of your storage spaces should include the following:
- A clean, dry, and cool space – some cleaning chemicals can react with temperature changes or fluctuations and high levels of humidity.
- A well-ventilated area – your storage space needs to be permanently ventilated and you should store any chemicals away from intake vents to prevent any potential fumes spreading outside the storage environment.
- Chemicals should be stored no higher than eye level – and NEVER on the top shelf of any storage space.
- Shelves and storage racks should never be overcrowded and ensure shelves are fitted with anti-roll lips to avoid any chemical containers falling.
- NEVER store cleaning chemicals on the floor!
All the above storage conditions NEED to be observed – which makes renting a self-storage unit to house your chemicals an ideal solution! Self-storage unit facilities offer safe, secure, dry, and regulated storage conditions and spaces. Using a self-storage unit will keep these potentially dangerous chemicals away from the rest of your business premises and staff and will be professionally secured. Self-storage units offer appropriate and sturdy storage racks and shelves as well as all the correct temperature control conditions ideal for chemical storage.
Organization Is Essential
Organizing the storage space is equally important – separate chemicals by their hazard class to avoid any unwanted reactions between closely stored chemicals and keep similar products grouped together.
Flammable and combustible chemicals, along with oxidisers, should be stored away from any potential ignition sources such as heat, flame and even sunlight! The National Fire Protection Association have a code (NFPA 30) that governs combustible and flammable liquid storage and handling and should be adhered to at all times.
Maintaining Storage Areas
The maintenance of any area used for chemical storage should be upheld – all containers should be properly sealed, different chemicals kept apart, and always returned to their designated storage space after use, and all documentation should be kept current and accurate. Again, rented self-storage units can help in keeping this storage environment safe and efficient.
Self-storage facilities are not just for household storage in London, as some may think – they can offer professional storage for a host of different items. Consult with an established storage unit company to get expert advice on safe storage for your chemicals and cleaning products – there are many facilities with affordable self-storage prices in London that can offer the perfect environment for your chemical storage requirements.
Choose Chelsea Self Storage
If you’ve got a cleaning company and need somewhere to store all your chemicals and equipment, look no further than Chelsea Storage! We offer convenient, clean and secure self-storage space units for the public for as long or as short as you want it, at storage unit prices to suit all budgets. Call us today FREE on: 0808 1681310 to discuss your requirements or click here for a storage quote; and get your very own household storage in London today.