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Some of the important qualifications when hiring a third-party logistics for the storage of your hazardous chemicals are that it should be an ISO certified and has facilities that use state of the art methods in storing hazardous materials. Working with the local fire departments, the EPA and the OSHA is important for your 3PL to make sure that they have the necessary safety and operational features for their customers’ products safe storage. Furthermore, carriers like UPS and FedEx should certify your 3PL in carrying for small package of chemical for shipping in case you need to have to ship as such.
Let us present briefly some of the basic guidelines wherever you will store the bulk of your chemical products.
First is to date all chemicals received for inventory upon receipt. Newer stocks are to be used later than the older stocks. The verification of your inventory should be done on a yearly basis Be reminded that other items in the warehouse are not to be mixed with the chemicals thus should be placed in separate and secure areas.
Be mindful not to store chemicals in fume hoods or work areas. In order to identify the hazardous nature of the products placed inside storage cabinets and storage areas, these should be labelled clearly. There should be also proper labelling and identification of products before putting inside the warehouse. The content of the label should show the exact contents, hazardous properties, date of receipt and the expiry date.
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Also, take note that flammable chemicals should never been placed in standard house refrigerators. Even if only on temporary basis, chemicals should never be stored directly on the floor. It is advisable also that you store chemicals at eye level because in this condition, the storage situation can be easily reviewed, and when problems like corrosion happened, you can immediately address the problem.
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If you use shelving in the storage area, make sure to secure them firmly on the wall or on the floor. The shelves should also feature a lip on all the sides to avoid bottles and other containers from tripping down. Know that wooden shelves are fit for general storage because they are less effective heat conductors, while metal shelving are to be used for storing flammable products since the risk of fire in this material is less.
Storing chemicals below, above or near a water source or sink is not recommended since these chemicals can even be more hazardous when affected by moisture. Also, the location of chemical storage areas should be far from the building’s heavily travelled areas.
All storage cabinets or closets are to be locked without fail when not being used. Know that the general rule in storing chemicals is that it should be stored in a cool and dry place.