South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard how, on 12 December 2017, the employee of Wheelnut Ltd, entered an area of the company’s former premises in Swalwell, Newcastle upon Tyne, known as the “acid room”. The employee entered the room to retrieve alloy wheels from one of three barrels of a chemical substance containing Dichloromethane (DCM), Methanol and Hydrofluoric Acid used in the stripping process. He was subsequently found by a colleague slumped unconscious over a barrel.
An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found a risk assessment for the chemical wheel stripping process was not suitable or sufficient. Appropriate control measures should have included suitable exhaust ventilation in the room as well as respiratory protective equipment (RPE) for the employees. RPE was provided but it was not maintained in an efficient or effective state. Several parts of it were damaged and the air feed to it from the compressor was not filtered correctly. The investigation found that on this occasion, and previously, the employee was not wearing the RPE when he entered the room. Employees were not provided with suitable and sufficient information, instruction, and training with regards to the risks involved with using the chemicals, particularly the risks involved with using DCM.
Wheelnut Ltd of Whickham Bank, Swalwell, Newcastle upon pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. The company was fined £32,000 and ordered to pay full costs of £1718.50.
Speaking after the hearing, HSE inspector Joy Craighead said: “A young worker suffered a potentially serious injury. Breathing in DCM vapour can produce narcotic effects and, at high concentrations, unconsciousness and death. In this instance, the boy made a full recovery, but it could have easily resulted in his death.”
Commenting on the sentencing, Mike Brodie, Chemstore UK Managing Director said: “A storage arrangement with suitable extraction could have prevented this incident from happening. It is easy to underestimate the dangers of gases and vapours given off by chemicals because they can be odourless and vapourless but their effects can be devastating. Thankfully the apprentice in question made a full recovery but the incident is a reminder of the importance of storing hazardous substances correctly.”
If you are unsure of your obligations in this area, contact Chemstore today for a free site assessment.
The Chemstore pesticide stores are designed for storing any agrochemical such as plant protection products, animal remedies or biocides. Our new pesticide stores are fully compliant with IASIS (Irish Agricultural Supply Industry Standards) and the HSE Guidance Document – Storing pesticides for farmers and other professional users
You are ensured that the storage for your pesticides are designed and constructed in compliance with relevant statutory requirements and are managed and operated to achieve a high level of protection for workers and for the environment.
The Chemstore PES range can be equipped with required safety & hazard labels for your site on request.
Extreme increase in undeclared hazardous materials
The German transportation company Hapag-Lloyd has recently announced that in 2015 they saw an immense 65% increase in improperly declared hazardous materials that were carried by cargo. The announcement has been made possible due to Hapag-Lloyd’s Watchdog IT system, which analyses cargo data and flags up anything suspicious. This special safety software was industrialised by the company’s ocean carriers’ information technology and dangerous goods experts. It has been key in identifying dangerous goods, as it continuously checks for potentially hazardous materials.
Hapag-Lloyd announced that in 2015 they pin-pointed 4314 cases of incorrectly declared cargo. This is a 65% increase from 2014. It is believed that their dangerous goods specialists examined more than 236,000 suspicious cases which came to the attention of the firm’s safety software in 2015. This is a 46% growth from the previous year.
Why exactly has this increase occurred?
This swift increase in incorrectly declared hazardous materials is primarily down to two factors. One of the key reasons is the Tianjin explosion in China, which took place at a warehouse at the port which held hazardous chemicals. It’s widely reported that these chemicals were improperly stored, which caused the blast and left 173 people dead. Subsequently security measures were greatly tightened at the warehouse. The dangerous goods guidelines were tightened tremendously, and even prohibited hazardous goods completely in some cases. Rainer Horn, a spokesman from Hapag Lloyd, clarified that: “Many Chinese ports banned dangerous goods cargo partly or wholly after the explosions. So shippers didn’t declare their dangerous goods cargo hoping that they could get the cargo through.” Despite the fact that some ports have restrictions and rules in place which prohibit dangerous goods, some shippers are deliberately not declaring goods so that they can use all ports and carriers.
It’s believed that the other major reason for this increase in undeclared harmful goods is Hapag-Lloyds merger with CSAV’s container business. This merger boosted their overall business, and as a result increased the overall number of undeclared hazardous materials.
So what are the dangers involved with this increase?
The Tianjin blast highlights the importance of both appropriate storage and declaration of hazardous goods. Dangerous goods which are not declared hold a massive threat. In a statement Hapag-Lloyd described how: “Dangerous goods that are declared imprecisely, incorrectly or not at all have the potential to pose a major risk to crews, ships, the environment and other cargo on board.” It is extremely important for the crew members to know exactly what is inside the containers, so that they are able to carry out the correct handling procedures.
It’s clear from Hapag-Lloyd’s recent announcements about undeclared hazardous materials that there is a pressing need to improve health and safety legislation. Ken Rohlmann, head of the company’s dangerous goods department, sums up the danger of incorrectly declared dangerous goods in his statement: “If you consider that a single incorrectly declared container is enough to cause a disaster, the devastating potential of every single incorrect or non-declaration becomes clear.”3 steps for selecting a hazardous material storage solution provider
Hazardous materials, whether in a raw state or the finished product, are capable of producing a wide range of physical damage – from fires and explosions to health problems and, in some cases, even death.
So when you’re choosing a hazardous storage solution provider, it’s essential you do your research to ensure you find a provider that has the right solution for your needs, is experienced in dealing with your hazardous goods, is fully trained and aware of the latest legislation to safeguard your compliance. To help you, we’ve put together some tips to help you start the selection process:
1. Identify and quantify hazardous materials stored on your site
Any chemical that has been supplied to your site would have been issued with a safety data sheet – it’s the law. Use these sheets to start classifying any hazardous materials stored and processed on your site. Classifications:
Alongside classification, you’ll also need to quantify the amount you’re storing on site – do this for each type of chemical. Then, record the number of different sizes and types of containers that hold your hazardous materials.
2. Identify the application and necessity of your hazardous materials
This is a necessary step to identify the exact purpose of storing hazardous materials on your site. You need to question whether it is really necessary for each material to be housed on your site. And where possible, you should investigate whether you can substitute a hazardous material for a non-hazardous one. Secondary risks can also become apparent when identifying each application. For example, in the case of dispensing a flammable chemical on site the risk of static charge build up will then need to be considered. Application categories include:
3. Protect your employees and prove your compliance
The safe handling and storage of hazardous materials is one of the most important tasks for the protection of the health of employees. The employer has many responsibilities and must be aware of the potential hazards different materials contain.
It’s critical that you request information on relevant government legislation and regulations for the safe storage of your hazardous materials on site. The HSE and other government organisations are there to help ensure that environmental health and safety risks are minimised as far as reasonably practicable in industrial organisations, so don’t be afraid to ask what you need to do to become compliant.
One of Chemstore’s team can talk you through the necessary steps and provide expert advice to ensure you are compliant.
One of our engineers can issue you with a full site proposal with the relevant advice, products and services to enable your site compliance for the safe storage of hazardous materials.
The Chemstore team provides a full after sale service to inspect and maintain all products to ensure the highest standards are upheld.
Request your free site assessment and expert hazardous material storage solutions from an experienced Chemstore engineer today. Call 020 8704 1807 or email us.Key Tips for Hazard Classification & Identification
Chemstore has over 21 years’ experience in area classification & the safe storage of hazardous chemicals in the workplace.
On a daily basis our team receive enquiries and questions from our clients regarding the best practice to mitigate the risks and how to enable compliance for the storage of hazardous goods in their premises.
In this brief article we want to familiarize you with some key tips to identify hazards and know the risks you take when storing hazardous chemicals in your workplace.
According to the HSE guidance document ‘HSG71’ the most common cause of incidents in the workplace are:
When receiving dangerous substances to your premises the first document you should consult is the SDS (Safety Data Sheet) sheet for each substance.
The SDS sheet will provide key information for:
Please ensure that any goods on your premises are supplied with SDS sheets.
CLP Classification System
European Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 on classification, labeling and packaging of substances and mixtures came into force on 20 January 2009 in all EU Member States, including the U.K. & Ireland It is known by its abbreviated form, ‘the CLP Regulation’ or just plain ‘CLP’.
From the 01st June 2015 compliance with the CLP regulations will be mandatory in all EU member states.
The CLP labelling system was developed to provide striking labeling on goods that works as a clear indication to any personnel who work with dangerous goods in the workplace. The CLP classification labels is something that all your employees should be fully competent with.
Chemstore have provided information below on the notable CLP labels:
|2. Compressed Gases
3. Flammable Substance
|5. Toxic Substance
6. Corrosive Substance
7. Health Hazard
|8. Oxodizing Substance|
9. Hazardous to the Aquatic Environment
For any queries you have on hazard identification and storing dangerous goods in the workplace, contact any member of the Chemstore team today.Chemical Awareness & Storage
Many companies use hazardous chemicals in their production, manufacturing and maintenance processes. These companies must be sure to implement control measures to reduce the risk of harm to employees.
First of all, wherever possible the need for the hazardous chemical should be removed from the process. If this is not practical then it may be possible to source a less hazardous alternative.
At this stage of selecting a new product, a thorough analysis of the material safety data sheet (SDS) is required, now although the quality of SDS has improved greatly in recent years, they may not be 100% accurate. The manufacturer may have changed the ingredients of a chemical without updating the SDS and of course there is room for human error.
It is advisable to conduct a controlled trial of the product to ensure that it does not introduce any new hazards and does the job that it is supposed to. This is where your operatives are worth their weight in gold as they alone can comment on the impact this change will have on their day to day productivity. Safety representatives, manager, engineers should also be consulted to ensure no oversights are made.
Staff who are required to work with, or are exposed to the hazardous chemical should receive training on how to work with the product safely and should know the risk factors involved in doing so. Emergency response teams must be trained and on standby to deal with any problems as they occur. Their standard procedures must be supported by emergency response plans which should be updated through regular testing of simulated incident.
What is often forgotten in daily handling is the improper storage of product or material. Hazardous materials are therefore always a current topic for every laboratory. Apart from the proper handling strict storage regulations must be observed. The current storage cabinets provide local storage close to the workplace similar to cabinets shown below.
The final resort in controlling hazardous chemicals is the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as protective gloves, goggles and ventilation masks to shield the wearer from the ill effects of any chemicals they are working with.
If you require information on Training, PPE and our full range of EN14470-1 compliant cabinets please do not hesitate to call any of our Sales Team on 020 8 704 1807.A Brief Guide to Acid Storage
The following acts as a brief reference guide to your acid storage.
1. Ascertain the nature of the acids:
2. Acids are frequently supplied as aqueous solutions. For example, the higher the concentration of an acid the greater the potential of fumes, which in turn can be very corrosive.
3. Always refer to the Material Safety Data Sheet which gives directions regarding storage and handling advice. Acids must be separated from other chemical types such as bases.
4. Having established the nature and quantity of acids present, and measured available storage space, you are now in a position to recommend specific asecos cabinets.
5. Check the client requirements for interior furniture within the cabinet, this depends on the size and number of containers being stored. With respect to storing acids if possible always recommend PE coated shelves or plastic pull out drawers if available, it helps reduce the risk of corrosion to those components.
6. We advise that in all cases cabinets are to be ventilated where acids are stored, acidic fumes are corrosive, so for example non-metallic components are to be used in the extraction hosing. In 2014 asecos are releasing a recirculating UFA extractor for acid fumes as an option.
7. Establish where the cabinet is to be delivered to, either to point of use to behind first door (goods-in).
The following article outlines the recommended steps to take when deciding on which type of gas cylinder storage is most suitable for your needs.
Codes of Practice, Guidance Notes and recommendations from UK authorities are generally the minimum requirements for complying with Health and Safety law. An end-user is welcome to use his own methods, but a court will find fault if an accident occurs and these have been established as being insufficient.Chemicals Risk Assessment
The identification of hazards, evaluation of their risks and putting in place of control measures to secure the health and safety of employees is a major element for managing health and safety under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, 2005. The Chemical Agent Regulations 2001 point out the specific requirements necessary to complete a Chemical Agents risk assessment of the chemical agents used in the work place.
The first step in risk assessment is to identify the chemical hazards. When recording all potential chemical hazards, look beyond the obvious. As well as considering the use of chemical agents, look at chemicals or substances that may be produced by a process, for example welding fumes etc. Evaluate the correct storage and the quantities of chemicals being stored as well as waste disposal. Consider all materials, preparations/mixtures. Besides chemical agents, consider also, for example, items like glues, materials used by maintenance such as oils, gardening materials, water treatment and cleaning materials.
Check to see whether any of your chemicals are subjected to any Restrictions or Authorisations under the REACH Regulation. Your chemical supplier can supply you with this information and must supply you with a safety data sheet, (SDS) which should be provided with each material. The SDS is a primary source of health and safety information. For example the SDS may have your use included in the attached exposure scenarios (ES). It will include occupational exposure limits where they exist or it may have derived no effect levels (DNELs).
The second step is to consider who (groups of employees) might be affected and how the material/chemical might harm them. Recognise that some employees may need special consideration, for example, language needs of non-national workers, potential exposure of pregnant employees etc. While the employer is responsible for carrying out the risk assessment, employees should be involved.
The third step is evaluating the risks and deciding on precautions. Write down what precautions you are already taking and apply the principles below in the following order to determine what additional precautions are required: Eliminate the substance or substitute a less hazardous chemical Prevent exposure, for example, by containment and use of local exhaust ventilation (Engineering controls) Organise work to reduce the number of employees that might be exposed. Challenge how processes are carried out. Are there smarter ways of carrying out an activity so that the potential for exposure is eliminated or reduced. As a back-up or final resort, issue personal protective equipment Provide welfare facilities (first-aid and washing facilities to remove contamination)
The fourth step is to document and implement your findings. Write down your findings and discuss them with your employees. Consultation with your employees is necessary at every step and especially when implementing the findings of your chemicals risk assessment. Use this template to draw up an action plan, detailing who is responsible, for what action and when will it be carried out.
As no workplace remains the same, the fifth step is to review your risk assessment at least once per year, and update if necessary. When changes such as new employees, machinery, equipment or materials occur in the workplace it is necessary to review the risk assessment. Change in work patterns such as overtime or shift work, the needs of pregnant/nursing employees and those with special needs must also be included. When you are finished, check with your chemical supplier to ensure that your use of the chemical is recorded in the Exposure Scenarios part of the Safety Data Sheet which is now required under the REACH Regulation.
– See more at The Health and Safety Authority of Ireland:
Since 1993 we have been designing & building a comprehensive range of stores for all types of storage and dispensing solutions for Hazardous Materials. We have recently been made aware that there are numerous products on the market which are not compliant or fit for purpose.
Chemstore through obtaining EN ISO 9001:2008 are Ireland’s only manufacturer of Hazardous Material Stores and can offer full conformity of its products through the following:
The pictures below show findings following Free Site Audits conducted on 2 separate sites recently.
Pictured left is an 8 pallet store which was built around standard warehouse pallet racking and using heavy Insulated paneling. The weight which was being exerted on the framework could not withstand the load bearing pressure and this led to the unit being blown over in the recent strong winds.
Pictured below is a standard 1000L IBC of hazardous material being stored with no bunding or warning to the danger of the product being stored.
Chemstore recommendations to the issues raised were to offer compliant stores to best meet the requirements of the customer. During assessment Chemstore assess the following main areas:
On review of these key points the following proposals were sent to our customers for review and implementation:
Below is an 8 Pallet Firevault. The framework is fully welded box section steel. The cladding used is a 1Hr fire rated panel. The bund is tested & certified with a capacity in excess of 110% of the largest container being stored. The twin sliding doors are running on a heavy duty henderson track system. The shelving is a parallel bar system which will accommodate both pallets and IBC’s. The vents and door seals are intumescent and are tested to 1Hr. The paint system is a 2 pack system which also provides corrosion resistance.
Pictured below is storage for a single IBC of hazardous material. The framework is fully welded box section steel with vandal proof steel cladding due to the location of the store. The bund of plastic construction is tested & certified with a capacity in excess of 110% of the largest container being stored. The twin hinged doors had openings of greater than 180° to easily load/unload the IBC. The shelving is a plastic grid decking which will accommodate both pallets and IBC’s. The paint system is a 2 pack system which also provides corrosion resistance.
To ensure your compliance, Book a Free Site Assessment Online Today OR contact our Sales Team at:
firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0208 704 1807