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What are the characteristics of a dangerous goods warehouse?

The storage of dangerous goods, which often includes chemicals, gas cylinders and toxic flammable and explosive liquids, etc., must be at a high level of safety. These warehouses must not only comply with international standards in terms of layout and classification, but also their staff must be fully aware of the importance of the issue and know how to deal with unforeseen circumstances. In the following, we will refer to the most important principles and standards for storage of dangerous goods.

Correct classification; The most important principle in the storage of dangerous goods

One of the most important things to do to store dangerous goods in industrial environments, etc., is to properly classify them. After classification, it is necessary to install a special mark or label for each group on the warehouse shelf in which the materials are placed. According to the standards provided by OSHA and NFPA, all toxic, chemical and hazardous substances can be classified into the following groups:

Flammable solids

These materials burn in hot environments with high temperatures, such as wood and paper. Materials that have this feature should be placed in shelves separate from other materials and a rhombus mark with a white background and a black flame should be installed on them. As far as possible, these materials should be stored in well-ventilated and slightly cool warehouses and should not be exposed to direct sunlight.

Water-reactive solids
Solids such as potassium and sodium react with contact with water and can ignite. These materials should all be placed on separate shelves and labeled blue rhombus with a white flame.

Combustible organic solids
One of the most dangerous chemicals is combustible materials, which contain most of the organic matter. The storage of these dangerous and combustible goods should be at a low temperature so that they do not catch fire. These materials are labeled with a two-color rhombus that has white on the top and red on the bottom. (There is a black flame on top of this rhombus)

Flammable and explosive liquids
To classify liquids, you must divide them into two groups. Liquids such as gasoline and alcohol, which have flammable vapors at normal temperatures, are classified as light liquids. Another group of liquids that are not flammable at normal ambient temperatures are known as heavy liquids, such as diesel and oil.

Dangerous gasses
Hazardous gasses that are stored in the storage environment in different ways can be classified as toxic, flammable and explosive gasses. Capsules containing hazardous gasses in warehouses are marked with a red rhombus sign and a white flame.

Oxidizing agents
Oxidizing agents are among the hazardous substances that are stored. These substances, which have a high power to react with oxygen in the air, are marked with a yellow rhombus and a black flame, and include items such as potassium and potassium nitrate. After classifying these materials, they should be placed at a great distance from solid and liquid combustible materials.

Storage of dangerous goods and toxic substances
Some chemicals contain toxic gasses that release into the environment and cause suffocation. These materials are marked with a white rhombus and the shape of a skull and two black bones, which indicate the risk of death. Toxic substances should be stored in warehouses that have a strong ventilation system.

Oxidizing and corrosive materials
Corrosive acids and chemicals in contact with metals not only cause corrosion, but also the vapors produced from them are flammable. For this reason, proper storage of environmentally friendly goods containing corrosive substances should be provided in the warehouse. Corrosive materials are displayed in warehouses with a two-color rhombus symbol (white top and red bottom) that contain two laboratory containers on hand and metal.

Environmental conditions for storage of dangerous goods
After classification, it is necessary to standardize the conditions of the warehouse and its various sections in terms of ventilation, transportation and arrangement of goods. Among the important things that must be observed in the warehouse containing hazardous substances, the following options can be mentioned:

Air conditioning is very important in warehouses containing chemical and toxic substances. Large and industrial ventilators should be installed in different parts of the warehouse so that air exchange can take place well.

The floor of the warehouse should be washable due to heavy traffic and also spilling materials while moving. Also, the floor of the warehouse should be such that if detergents are used, they will not be damaged and will have a high resistance. In addition, static electricity is very dangerous for the warehouse environment and this issue should be considered in the choice of materials for the floor.

Different parts of the warehouse should be considered for emergency exit. In addition, all warehouse staff must have access to these doors.

Shelves should be wide enough to prevent impact on shelves containing hazardous materials. Otherwise, there is a possibility of the forklift hitting the shelves and material spills and unfortunate events will occur.

The roof and the building of the warehouse for the storage of dangerous goods must be safe against lightning.

The electrical appliances used in different parts of the warehouse must all be EX type.

Shelves containing hazardous materials should be kept away from lamps, lighting systems and heating systems.

Safety principles and tips should be taught to all employees and important signs should be installed in different parts of the warehouse.

Do not put any different chemicals in the corridors of the warehouse. Corridors should always be empty and open so that relief operations can be carried out easily in the event of a fire.

In the warehousing system, the category and type of materials must be recorded so that the transportation and arrangement of new goods is not challenged.

Principles of maintenance of cylinders containing hazardous gas
In addition to solids, liquids, and hazardous gasses, capsules and cylinders containing liquids and gasses are stored in some warehouses. These cylinders are very sensitive and therefore the environment that is considered for their storage should have several important features, which are:

The cylinders must all have a perfectly healthy body and a cap.

The cylinders must rest on a point where the probability of them falling is zero.

Capsules containing liquefied petroleum gas, compressed air, and oxygen should be spaced far apart.

The height of the gas cylinder storage warehouse should be higher than the ground level

As far as possible, the cylinders should be placed in open environments. Storing capsules containing gas and liquid in hot, indoor environments can be dangerous. In the absence of open space, the ventilation system must be installed in its various parts.

The cylinders must rest firmly on the wall or surface and you must avoid placing them horizontally on the ground.

Classify them according to the type of gas or liquid inside the cylinder and place them at a distance from each other.

In general, it can be said that in the warehouse where dangerous goods are stored, the materials must be properly classified and marked. Then it is placed in suitable and durable shelves and the storage conditions are completely safe. Maintaining a proper distance between different categories of materials, familiarizing all employees with the materials and their characteristics, and installing signs for safety guidance and shelving in case of danger should also be done in the warehouse.

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