Proper chemical storage is critical not only for efficiency, but for safety. Whether in commercial quantities or research amounts, chemicals that are stored improperly can be unsafe and in less-than-ideal condition for the application at hand.
Noah Chemicals takes chemical storage seriously. We adhere to the ISO-9001 Quality System to ensure everything we make and ship lives up to our reputation. Once our chemicals make it to your facility, it’s up to your team to store them properly. Here are three best practices to keep in mind.
Proper Labeling is Paramount
The number one cause for concern we see when we visit off-site chemical facilities is improper labeling of product. It’s not enough to assume a shipment of chemicals is properly labeled – open each box and visually inspect every container to ensure all labels appear to be correct in both name and amount. If a shipment contains multiple containers of chemicals, each should be labeled individually in case of division during storage. Labels should list the name of the compound, quantity, lot number, and the chemical’s hazard class if applicable.
Storage Containers Should be Specialized
Volatile and highly odorous chemicals should be stored in a ventilated cabinet with a locking mechanism. Most importantly, the ventilation flume must be kept free of blockage to ensure proper air flow. Acids should be stored in their own dedicated cabinet, and only like-hazard acids should be stored next to one another. (For example, nitric acid should have its own storage space.) Flammable materials, particularly in quantities over a few gallons, should be stored in their own materials storage cabinet or flammable material room.
Create Storage SOPs
Standard Operating Procedures should be made clear to all employees and visitors to the lab. They should be posted throughout the space and regular audits should be performed to ensure all chemical handlers are effectively managing safety protocols. Tips such as never storing chemicals higher than eye level, always using drip catchers, and transferring subdivided chemicals into smaller containers shouldn’t be suggestions, they should be non-negotiable. The only way to safely store chemicals is to consistently follow the same set of protocols again and again.
Some measure of human error is always involved with the storage and handling of chemicals. Preparation and education is key. Noah Chemicals can help talk you through storage best-practices for a wide variety of chemicals we sell and produce. Give our team of experienced chemists a call today to find out how to make your lab a safer place to work.