UCR

Environmental Health & Safety



Chemical storage inspection guidance


Chemical storage guidelines

  • CHEMICAL CONTAINER LABELING - Ensure all containers of hazardous chemicals are properly labeled with the identity of the hazardous chemical(s) and appropriate hazard warnings.  Chemical abbreviations and annotations can be used on transfer containers.  Be sure to include a prominently posted list indicating the chemical name and hazard indication attached to each abbreviation.

  • INCOMPATIBLE CHEMICALS - Segregate all incompatible chemicals for proper storage of chemicals by hazard class. In other words, store like chemicals together and away from other groups of chemicals that might cause reactions if mixed.   Keep chemical groups separate by using:
    • Secondary containment
    • Cabinets
    • Partitions
    • Distance

  •  CHEMICAL STORAGE CONVENTION - A best practice, store all hazardous laboratory chemicals below eye level (<56").  This simple task greatly reduces the likelihood of something falling from above, breaking and contaminating the laboratory or causing injuries.  This practice is especially prudent when storing corrosive materials.

  •  ADDITIONAL KEYS TO SAFE CHEMICAL STORAGE

      • Segregate all incompatible chemicals for proper storage of chemicals by hazard class. In other words, store like chemicals together and away from other groups of chemicals that might cause reactions if mixed.  
      • Do not store chemicals alphabetically except within a grouping of compatible chemicals.  
      • Flammable materials should be stored in an approved, dedicated flammable materials storage cabinet or storage room if the volume exceeds ten gallons. Keep cabinet doors closed.  
      • Chemicals should be stored no higher than eye level and never on the top shelf of a storage unit. Do not overcrowd shelves. Each shelf should have an anti-roll lip.  
      • Avoid storing chemicals on the floor (even temporarily) or extending into traffic aisles.  
      • Liquids should be stored in unbreakable or double-contained packaging, or the storage cabinet should have the capacity to hold the contents if the container breaks.  
      • Store acids in a dedicated acid cabinet. Nitric acid may be stored there also but only if it is kept isolated from all other acids.  
      • Store highly toxic or controlled materials in a locked, dedicated poison cabinet.  
      • Volatile or highly odorous chemical shall be stored in a ventilated cabinet. Chemical fume hoods shall not be used for storage as containers block proper air flow in the hood and reduce available work space.  
      • All chemicals should be labeled and dated upon receipt in the lab and on opening. This is especially important for peroxide-forming chemicals such as ethers, dioxane, isopropanol, and tetrahydrofuran. Solutions should be labeled and dated when prepared.  
      • Look for unusual conditions in chemical storage areas, such as:
      • First aid supplies, emergency phone numbers, eyewash and emergency shower equipment, fire extinguishers, spill cleanup supplies and personal protective equipment should be readily available and personnel trained in their use.  
      • Chemicals stored in explosion-proof refrigerators or cold rooms shall be sealed and labeled with the name of the person who stored the material in addition to all other required hazard warnings.  
      • Only compressed gas cylinders that are in use and secured in place shall be kept in the laboratory. All others, including empties, shall be sent to the compressed gas cylinder storage area for the particular facility.  
      • Keep all stored chemicals, especially flammable liquids, away from heat and direct sunlight.

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Contact EH&S at (951) 827-5528 or email us.

 


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Environmental Health & Safety

Environmental Health & Safety
Environmental Health & Safety

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E-mail: ehs@ucr.edu

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