Workplaces often have a variety of chemicals and other dangerous goods on site, which has the potential to be extremely dangerous.
This is why it’s imperative that proper storage and handling controls are implemented and followed by everyone in the workplace.
Even sites with a low amount of chemicals must be vigilant – and they are often the most complacent.
This blog looks at the consequences of improper handling and storage of dangerous goods and provides tips on how to improve their management.
Dangerous goods can cause untold damage
If you don’t have the proper controls in place, the consequences of improper dangerous goods control can be extreme:
- Serious injury
- Damage to your business’s reputation
- Property damage
- Disruption of the nearby community
Risk management can be costly, but it’s nothing compared to the cost of what can happen when dangerous goods aren’t handled or stored correctly.
Some of the most common errors when storing dangerous goods
Mistakes many businesses make that have the potential for severe damage include:
- Not adequately separating incompatible dangerous goods
- Fire protection reports that are lacking
- Dangerous goods manifests that aren’t appropriately maintained
- Labels and placards that are inadequate
- Improper storage
Tips for improving your dangerous goods management
Nothing replaces having an expert come and conduct a full assessment of the way you store and handle your dangerous goods, but these tips are a great place to start:
- Relevant risk assessments should be completed
- Handling and storage areas, as well as equipment and structures, must be appropriately designed
- Ensure you’re within the legislative limits for maximum quantities of dangerous goods
- Consider whether you can substitute any chemicals for those that are less dangerous, or need to eliminate or separate any chemicals
- Comply with relevant legislation – developing procedures and emergency plans, as well as any required notifications, manifests and placarding as per the National Code of Practice for Storage and Handling of Workplace Dangerous Goods 2017
- Inspect and audit your chemical stores regularly
- Ensure your team are provided with the appropriate signage, equipment, training and PPE to follow the new controls put in place
Have a look at the way your business stores and handles dangerous goods.
Are the right procedures and protocols in place?
If you’re unsure, or the answer is no, it’s vital that you make changes immediately to make your workplace safer.
Major events caused by dangerous goods aren’t common; it’s the serious consequences that must be considered, not the likelihood of an event occurring.
Don’t risk the often-deadly consequences of improper dangerous goods storage and handling – talk to the team at Workplace Emergency Management to ensure your workplace is as safe as possible.
[WT1](National Code of Practice for Storage and handling of Workplace Dangerous Goods 2017)[AF2]