Appropriate chemical storage cabinets are key to a safe laboratory
To ensure your laboratory is safe, it’s important to come up with a chemical storage plan. According to OSHA regulations, chemicals must never be stored within fume hoods themselves, and doing so can put students, employees, and others who access the laboratory at great risk.
There are many benefits to storing chemicals in cabinets:
• Chemicals stored in chemical storage cabinets are better organized and easier to access.
• Chemicals stored in chemical storage cabinets are not exposed to extreme heat, cold, or sun.
• Chemicals stored in chemical storage cabinets retain their properties longer, and do not degrade.
• Chemicals stored in chemical storage cabinets minimize laboratory danger, and increase the safety of laboratory users.
But storing chemicals isn’t as simple as placing them on shelves in cabinets. Instead, chemical storage cabinets must be appropriate. For example, are your chemicals corrosive? If so, they will need to be stored in special corrosive chemical cabinets. Are your chemicals flammable? If you’re storing more 10 gallons of combustible liquid, it must be placed in specially approved flammable chemical storage cabinets. If you’re storing under10 gallons of flammable liquid, simple laboratory cabinets are appropriate, as long as the chemicals are placed in secondary containers before being put into the cabinet.
When choosing your chemical storage cabinets, in addition to making sure they are appropriate to the chemicals being stored, make sure they are large enough. Chemical storage cabinets should have enough room to store chemicals so that they can be easily removed without shifting or moving other containers. Reducing the amount of container movement will reduce potentially hazardous spills and leaks.