Storing and handling as well as transporting dangerous goods in Australia is regulated by law. These goods include substances that contain physical, chemical or toxicity properties which are harmful to people’s health, therefore the storage units need to be built according to standards regulated by law. Safety is priority number one when handling such substances, especially flammable liquids which cause the majority of industrial fires. When there is a need to purchase a dangerous goods cabinet, several things need to be taken into consideration.
To begin with, the type of the cabinet is important as it should be appropriate for the dangerous goods you intend to keep in it. So you need to decide whether you need a steel cabinet or one made of plastic (polypropylene). A steel dangerous goods cabinet is suitable for toxic, oxidising or flammable substances. The plastic (polypropylene) is a good choice for corrosive substances, and if there is a need for a gas bottle storage cabinet for pesticides or other aggressive acids then a polyethylene should be the right solution.
Together with the type, you can also choose the appearance of the dangerous goods cabinet but contrary to the popular belief, there are no standard colours that a cabinet must stick to according to the law. The colour of the cabinets add to the design of the facility so, to achieve a clean, bright and modern look, you should go for a white and grey storage cabinet. Yellow is often chosen for flammable goods whereas blue for corrosive.
Next important thing is the size. There are different sizes of cabinets which can vary from 30l for chemicals in small quantities to 250l for large quantity. For facilities that need more than one large cabinet, there is a perfect solution, a 1000l capacity cabinet to store large quantities of the goods and at the same time to save on space.
Finally, you shouldn’t overlook the flexibility factor when buying a dangerous goods cabinet. This refers to how adjustable is the cabinet to your needs. For example, if the cabinet comes with venting bungs you will be able to easily vent the cabinet in future. Also, some cabinets are flexible to change the class of the substances which means you can change between flammable, corrosive, toxic or oxidising substances if your requirements change over time. But, this feature is notably labelled so, check twice if you need a flexible storage.
All in all, storing dangerous goods is not a one-time thing. Precautions and safety measures should be followed every time you are to handle these chemicals and hazardous materials. Some of the advice on how to handle them given by the SafeWork NSW Code of practice on managing risks of hazardous chemicals http://www.safework.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/50729/storage-handling-dangerous-goods-1354.pdf include considering factors like temperature, moisture, light and how these may affect the storage. Also, according to the same Code, you should make a spill and fire containment strategies plan in case of leakage of the dangerous materials.