Hazardous materials require specialized shipping and storage methods. Federal agencies have created specific regulations covering chemical distribution processes.
When discussing chemical storage and shipping, many people assume that the conversation is about hazardous liquid materials used in industrial facilities. However, hazardous chemicals can also include gases such as oxygen, explosives, and flammable solid materials. Even the paint that is used to decorate the walls of a home is considered a hazardous material.
Other times, a material by itself will not be hazardous. Yet if it is stored near another chemical or substance, the dangers of the two items becoming mixed will categorize both of them as hazardous chemicals. The materials may cause an explosion, fire, or a toxic release.
Chemical warehousing compliance is essential to prevent any type of accident or spillage that occurs. When a chemical accident happens inside the warehouse, it can cause dangerous conditions. The chemical could lead to breathing problems, be corrosive to the skin, or be flammable. In addition, leaking chemicals may enter nearby water sources and contaminate the whole water supply.
Whether the chemicals are in short-term storage, long-term storage, or being shipped, chemical warehouse regulations must be followed. Compliance organizations will vary depending on the type of chemicals that the agency and their governing branch monitor. For example, the Uniform Fire Codes are regulatory standards that deal with fire protection and prevention. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) covers storage and transportation of hazardous chemicals making intrastate, interstate, and foreign travel.
Below, here are several chemical warehousing regulations to be aware of if your company is involved in manufacturing, storing, or transporting hazardous chemicals.
Chemical Storage and Transportation Regulations
Since there are so many regulating agencies with chemical warehousing compliance standards, we will only provide a short list. You can also see the list of some hazardous chemicals that these agencies cover. This list is not all-inclusive, as there may be other chemicals that the standards will cover:
- Flammable liquids and solids
- Oxidizing agents
- Radioactive substances
- Toxic and infectious materials
- Oil-filled equipment
- Organic peroxides
OSHA 29 CFR 1910.106(e)(2)(iii)
The regulation involves the separation and protection of the warehouse area when transferring combustible and flammable liquids from one container to another. It requires that chemical storage containers be separated from other areas of operation. There should be adequate distance separating the areas or some physical barrier constructed of acceptable fire-resistant materials.
DOT 49 CFR 173.3
The regulation covers damaged, packaged hazardous materials that are leaking or spilled. The hazardous materials may be placed into a removable head metal salvage drum. The drum must have equal or greater structural integrity than the package in which the hazardous materials were previously stored.
EPA 40 CFR 264.175
A containment storage system must be designed for the container storage area. This containment storage system must operate under the following requirement: It must offer sufficient capacity to 10% of the volume of containers or 10% of the largest container volume.
Supply Chain Solutions for Chemical Distribution
Supply chain solutions companies, such as WSI, engage in chemical warehousing compliance to create a safe environment for workers. These companies also strive to make certain that packaged materials will not become mishandled during the storage and shipping process.
Warehouse workers are trained in all chemical handling, storage, and transport processes, as they wear the necessary protective equipment when entering the area that contains the hazardous materials.
In addition, these companies have all licenses, permits, and certifications to handle hazardous materials. Warehouse storage companies engage in chemical separation practices to prevent cross-contact between certain chemical classes. Inspections and audits are a crucial step for supply chain solution companies. These inspections and audits help ensure that the facility meets all regulatory chemical warehousing safety requirements while locating any potential issues that should be immediately rectified.
When hazardous chemicals are moved and shipped from the warehouse, inventory management and warehouse management systems help track the chemicals’ whereabouts.
These systems provide transparency in processes so that every package, drum, or container is always monitored and placed in the right location. Companies can also create comprehensive inventory lists of all chemicals stored at the site along with first-aid instructions, emergency procedures, and disposal requirements.
Chemical Logistics at WSI
WSI offers chemical logistics solutions for companies that need to store and move hazardous materials. Our chemical facilities are compliant with all DOT, EPA, CTPAT, and OSHA standards. We also have the necessary material handling certifications such as IATA, IMDG, HAZWOPER, and DOT.
For more information regarding our chemical storage and logistics services, contact WSI today.